A commonly held view is that a friendship is not real if it rarely or never crosses the boundaries of the digital realm. The stigma regarding virtual communication, that there is no intimacy online or if it’s not the face to face is bogus. The dilemma is not whether communication is in person. What still counts is quality.
1) Don’t try so hard to be interesting, be interested
Ask questions and don’t be afraid to be expressive. If it’s online or over text they can’t see your face to know you’re happy to hear from them…so say it. If you miss them, say that. If you care about them take the time to stay current about what’s going on in their life.
2) Call, Facetime, Skype
It’s often inevitable that certain friendships will be strained by distance. Some people require a sense of realness and can only get that from more intimate forms of communication. If they’re worth it to you then don’t look at it as a reflection of weakness in the friendship, but rather, a need of theirs – a meaningful gesture. If you can’t meet in person, Facetime, Skype, and calling are the next best thing. Millennials tend to avoid phone calls in favor of texting, but sometimes you need to at least try to connect in a more intimate way when distance prevents physically meeting up.
3) Make time
If you’re close enough to see your friends, do it. Make time to grab a drink. The best way to be a real friend in the virtual age is to make the effort to connect outside of the digital realm. This may be common sense, but I’ve seen friends drift apart because neither makes the effort to do this.