Fashion, Life

It’s easier than ever to keep in touch – so why am I so bad at it?

Personalised case for iPhone

I spend a significant portion of my time on my phone. It’s more than I would care to admit, that’s for sure, and it’s also more than I want to. I while away hours a day in scrolling and tapping, but I’ve noticed a worrying theme recently; I am completely failing at keeping in touch with those who mean the most.

This isn’t going to be the grandparent-style ‘you younguns are always staring at your technology rather than enjoying what’s going on around you’ thing – that’s an issue in itself, but let’s stick purely with cyber contact for now. There are windows in between that important face to face time where it’s nice to check in digitally, particularly if you live far away from your loved ones or are finding it difficult to co-ordinate regular catch ups in person. That’s the joy of our youngun technology after all – we can now communicate wherever we are, as much as we want, very cheaply, and through countless channels.

Palm print jumpsuitGoCustomized personalised iPhone case

So if I’m on my phone multiple times a day and I’m getting notifications saying my mum or my friend or someone else that I genuinely do want to talk to is trying to start a conversation – why does it take me so long to do anything about it?

I’m not entirely sure, to tell you the truth, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately (while I continue to fail at replying to people) so I thought I would broach the subject here. Some of the problem, I’m sure, stems from the classic ‘being busy’ that we’re all constantly talking about. Busy with work and replying to emails and life admin and trying to be a superwoman/man. There’s some truth in that; I do feel like I am busy most of the time. However, I’m not a very important person, so nothing I’m doing is very important – and what about those 15 minutes I spent mindlessly scrolling yesterday rather than replying to my nan’s text?

How to style palm printGoCustomized personalised phone caseNew Look palm jumpsuit

Based on what other people have said and various tweets I’ve seen relating to being bad at responding to messages, I’m pretty sure it’s not just me who has a problem with replying. It seems that nowadays, we’ve lost a sense of urgency when it comes to keeping in touch; we know that when it comes to it, we can contact someone easily and quickly, so the need to respond immediately is no longer there and a timely response doesn’t seem as important as it once did.

Terrible example that serves to highlight this and also show what a horrible person I am; recently I failed to respond to a friend (who I love very much) for a couple of weeks and she ended up sending me a message asking if she’d done something to upset me. Obviously I felt awful, and responded immediately after that, but it was that message that made me see what a pit of communication avoidance I’d gotten myself into.

Because it does actually feel like a bit of a bottomless pit; if you are someone who is bad at replying, like me, you’ll probably understand what I mean when I say that modern communication can be overwhelming. If you’re super good at staying in touch then you might just think I’m a) useless or b) nasty, but I’d like to hope that isn’t the case.

There are just so many types of messages out there – from texts to whatsapps to emails to tweets to comments to DMs and beyond. And who are they from – boss, boyfriend, gal pal, your aunt, long lost friend? Get a few of those different kinds flying at you, and it can all start to feel a bit too much. Not only is it easy for one message to get lost in the void, but it starts to seem like you have more to do than you actually do – even if you want to speak to all of those people, it feels difficult and time consuming to do so. And of course, the longer you leave it, and the more guilty and disconnected you feel, the harder it becomes to send that reply.

What to wear with a culotte jumpsuitNew Look jumpsuit with mulesHow to style a culotte jumpsuitJumpsuit – New Look (old) | Satchel – New Look (old) | Mules – M&S | Personalised phone case – GoCustomized* | Necklace – ASOS | Sunglasses – Primark

If you’re here for the outfit; yes, I matched my phone case to my jumpsuit. Not sorry. I actually bought this palm print jumpsuit a couple of years ago, but this is more of a general wonderings post than a styling post so thought it would be okay for me to wear it, even though it’s not available to buy (it would be anyway, but that’s a whole other topic).

I paired it with my trusty mules which you may or may not be sick of seeing, a green satchel that I rediscovered while we were moving – and of course this particular post wouldn’t be complete without my phone. GoCustomized were kind enough to send me a personalised phone case, so I chose palms (although they had lots of cute designs) and then went all out and stuck my name on it too. It’s been something of a revelation, because not only have I never owned a custom phone case or even a pretty one, but it’s also covered up the coffee stains that I’d managed to get on the back of my phone…

Anyway; this post is a vow, basically, that from now on when I pick up my phone, I prioritise messages from friends and family over checking up on Instagram. I’ll open Whatsapp before I open Twitter. I’ll call someone back rather than thinking that it’s probably fine because if they really wanted me they would text. If I’m feeling overwhelmed with modern communication and something’s gotta give, it shouldn’t be my nearest and dearest.

Palm print culotte jumpsuitGoCustomized palm print phone caseCulotte jumpsuitCulotte jumpsuit with palm print

*Denotes a product that has been gifted to me or sent for review purposes. All styling, thoughts and imagery are my own.

Photos: Rob Poor

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44 thoughts on “It’s easier than ever to keep in touch – so why am I so bad at it?”

  1. Love this post (and your blog) – and no, it’s certainly not just you. I hide behind email all the time. I hate picking the phone up too – mostly because a voice in my head starts saying it will just be somebody else that wants something from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much – really appreciate this comment and glad you could relate. I know exactly what you mean, I am awful at picking up the phone. I would rather just let it go to voicemail and deal with it later because I feel like I will be put on the spot if I answer!

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  2. Ahhhh I love that you’ve styled your outfit to match your phone! ❤ It's such a cute jumpsuit (and phone case). I'm actually quite good at replying but I know a lot of my friends aren't – sometimes I even feel like a bit of a loser because generally I reply pretty much straight away haha! I think that just shows I've always got my phone in my hand though which is definitely NOT a good thing.
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

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    1. No no that’s definitely a good thing if you reply straight away! It’s just so much nicer and more direct and on the other end it’s always appreciated, whereas I’m just a massive pain! Although totally feel you about always having your phone in your hand, I do too (which is how it’s so amazing that I cant even reply haha) and it’s a habit I need to get out of xxx

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  3. This is so true and we’re all guilty of it! Messages always come in while I’m doing something “important” like Instagram scrolling, I have every intention of replying and then hours turn into days and sometimes weeks! Not good!!!!

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    1. YES this is exactly what happens to me too (and pahaha ‘important’) – I just don’t know how it turns into weeks sometimes because that seems ridiculous given I do think ‘I’ll reply to that in a bit’ but it really does! x

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  4. Omg girl this is literally me. I am the worst at responding even when I love the person dearly and fancy a chat!! I also am shockingly bad at responding on social media, must up my game, eek!

    Elle
    xx

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    1. Ahh I’m so glad other people find this too – and yes, it totally doesn’t seem to matter even if I love the person so much and genuinely want to talk to them, it still happens! Thanks for reading beaut xxx

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  5. YES Sophie I am exactly the same and it makes me feel so awful 😦 They just get lost in the mix of aaaaaaaaaaall the other notifications then get forgotten 😦 And you are right, the longer you leave it, the more awkward it gets to reply… So ya just don’t. I am also going to vow to reply to my messages before jumping on Instagram! Your phone case is just gorgeous – and your entire outfit, as always 🙂 Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

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    1. Thank you beauty ❤️ And it really does make you feel so guilty and bad doesnt it…I cant even count the number of times I’ve somehow left it so long to reply to someone that by the time I get round to doing it I just don’t because it kind of seems insulting to reply after such a ridiculous length of time. Happy Friday xxx

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    1. Oh my, yes you’re going to have to get great at replying if your best friend is moving! At least when its a real friend you know you will always stay in touch and even if you do leave things longer than usual to speak to each other, it will always be okay when you do talk again ❤️

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  6. I couldn’t agree more, I am TERRIBLE at responding to texts, it’s actually become a well known fact about me now amongst my nearest and dearest. Not sure if this is a good thing or not!

    theButter.co.uk

    P.s. who doesn’t want to match their phone case to their outfit?!

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    1. Haha, I know several people who have that reputation amongst family and friends (me being one of them, ooops!) – and I’m glad you approve of the matching 🙊 xxx

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  7. You are certainly not alone in this, I’m, unfortunately, guilty of not responding to messages myself. It’s so bad and I’ll have all the intentions in the world to respond, but like you’ve said, I get so busy that I end up forgetting or prioritizing it. You’ve definitely brought it more to my attention with this post though, so I’ll be more mindful. As for your outfit, I love how you’ve matched your phone and outfit, so stylish! Thanks for sharing and I hope you’re having a great week so far!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

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    1. Thanks so much for reading Jalisa! And I’m very glad it’s not just me – and yes, each time I definitely have the intention of responding but somehow I just end up missing it from my to do list, which seems really easily (and frequently) done. Happy Friday and I hope you have a great weekend! xxx

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  8. This is a great topic for discussion. I find it takes mental energy to respond back to family and friends while flipping through instagram is pretty mindless. I hate though that I am constantly wasting time on apps that really will never return the amount of time I have spent on them. I am trying to find a balance. Thanks for sharing. Xo, Ellese

    Rock.Paper.Glam.

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    1. That’s such a good point – there is a huge difference in the mental energy it seems to take to respond to someone vs just scrolling through social, which is a bit of a shame really that I consider replying to people I love as something that requires ‘energy’, but staring mindlessly at people I don’t know does not. Replying to family and friends would be a more productive use of time, whereas the time I spend on mindless browsing on Instagram (sometimes even then repeating that to actually like or comment on stuff) does just feel like wasting my life…and know what you mean about these apps never returning the amount of time you spend on them! Its definitely about trying to find a balance! Thanks so much for commenting Ellese xx

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  9. I definitely notice this in myself. I generally reply instantly to my best friend, someone I’ve actually only seen in real life a handful of times since we were 16, but I find it much harder with my old school and university friends – there have been many a time I’ve completely forgotten to reply, and then wonder why our friendships are fading! I’ll certainly be trying to make more of an effort again to stay in touch with the people that really matter to me.
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

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    1. I completely know what you mean – I definitely have some people who I’ve failed at keeping in touch with (or we both have) and while with some of them I think it’s just one of those things and no hard feelings, there are some where it feels like a shame. I’m also going to be making that effort! Thanks for reading lovely xxx

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  10. Feels!! I like the vow and I’m gonna try this too although you’re right it can overwhelming. I’m the worst for opening a message when I don’t really have time to read it properly or reply and then forgetting it so it looks like I just cba replying. Need to stop doing that! Loved the outfit and the phone case is damn cute!

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    1. YES I do that all the time! I need to learn to open my messages when I am in a position to respond to them, too much I pick up my phone at work ‘just to see what it is’ but then I don’t have time to reply. Plus now that people can see you have read it it does look really bad! Thank you 🙂 x

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  11. I could really resonate with this post, I feel the same way! I constantly get distracted by other things on my phone- Instagram, my blog, etc. So I forget to contact the people I should be texting all the time! The sense of urgency is definitely not as present either, because you feel like it’s just a text away so you procrastinate even more I think. This was such a great post to read and so spot on! Your purse and dress are gorgeous by the way they match so well! xx

    http://mylovelierdays.com

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    1. Oh I’m so glad you could relate to this – it’s nice to know its not just me haha. There is so much going on on a phone nowadays that it’s so easy to get distracted (especially since having a blog, I’ve found). Thanks so much lovely xxx

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    1. Ahh thank you beaut 🙂 It does make you feel guilty doesn’t it, although it’s so easily done! Thanks for reading ❤️ xxx

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    1. That’s the thing isn’t it – we have our phones in our hands so so frequently, so it’s not like I can say ‘oh I haven’t looked at my phone’…I have, but I’ve just not put the focus onto the important bits! Still, it’s good to know it’s not just me, that would have been awkward 😂 xxx

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  12. Oh my god I’ve never related to anything more in my entire life haha. As soon as I started reading I was like “oh crap, I forget to reply to my nan’s text from 2 days ago, worlds worst granddaughter!” Luckily you reminded me! I always feel bad but I do it anyway and I don’t know why I do because it’s really not in my character. I feel like this was the kick up the bum I needed x
    http://www.sophieblxck.com

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    1. Oooops – I had done exactly the same haha, that’s why I specifically mentioned her! (I have texted her back now by the way and I hope you have replied to yours too 🙈) It is one of those strange things isn’t it, where you feel bad and know exactly what you need to do but for some reason you just don’t. Really weird but I’m going to try to get better! Thanks for reading lovely xxx

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  13. I agree with so many of your points here and I’m guilty of doing the very thing you’re talking about. I have my phone on me 90% of the time so why don’t I text my Nan or give my sister a call? It’s really bad and I have to get into the habit of using digital technology more productively rather than just aimlessly scrolling!

    Emma | Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles

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