It’s been a long week. From school stress to coordinating formal attire and plans to disappointing news for my brother, I just wanted to be home. I wanted to take a break from the stress I know in Chapel Hill and take a break on Ft. Lauderdale beach with my family and a good book. Oh, if only right?
It’s not so easy to up and leave UNC when you’re an out-of-state student like me. But it is ever so easy to stay in touch with my family in a world where access to communication is within reach.
What did generations before mine do before cell phones and Skype and Instagram? (I’m looking at you, mom and dad.) My mom told me that she used to schedule times to use her dorm’s landline so that she could call home!
When I’m in need of a little Black family love and support, I have so many options that make it (kind of) seem that I’m close enough to them.
When my mom wants to see a picture of my formal dress, she’s got one after a few taps of my thumbs. When my dad wants to chat about our March Madness brackets, one easy FaceTime and we’re strategizing together. When I want to see what my mom is up to, I’m happily met by an Instagram post (followed by an inappropriate but ever adorable number of emojis). It’s as if there’s no excuse not to communicate.
A Cornell University study found that communication between college students, freshmen in particular, and parents is crucial. The authors said that there is a “must” factor in maintaining contact with family “especially for fulfilling family roles and sharing experiences and emotional support.” The study also discussed the urgency in communication. One student studied described email and its asynchronicity. When an urgent response isn’t needed, email works, but when we can call or text, why not do that? Finally, the study mentioned convenience as being a factor in which type of communication students will use. It’s true that it isn’t always convenient to FaceTime, but having the option is something that I truly appreciate.
So technology, thank you. Thank you for bringing down my anxiety and stress level by allowing me to communicate with those I love. Thank you for giving me options as to how I choose to communicate. Thank you making it easier on my parents than it was when they went to college. Thank you for making me appreciate where I am because I know that where I come from is only a text, call, FaceTime, or photo message away.
That’s the scoop!