How an App Reconnected Me to Friends

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There are so many things that I love about my current phase of life. I love being “Momma” to my son and being ten years into my marriage. I also enjoy having a leadership role at work. I love the that I know more about myself and who I am, after spending my twenties and into my thirties figuring that out. However, there is one thing I really loathe about this phase of life — it is so hard to stay connected in deep and meaningful friendships.

Meeting Marco

Last year a friend of mine asked me to download an app called Marco Polo so we could stay better connected. She said the app was “a virtual walkie talkie” to stay connected with friends. I admit that the only reason I downloaded it was because I love my friend dearly and wanted to humor her. She is one of those pick right up where we left off friends. However, with our busy life schedules it is almost impossible to stay connected through our daily lives. If she thought this would improve our connection, I thought it was worth a try!

Marco Polo - an app to connect you to friends and family

When I accessed the app, I noticed that their tagline was “video chat for busy people”. If the tagline was any indicator of it being a good fit, I would be hooked! Marco Polo functions by recording video of you talking to the phone. Your friend can watch live or watch when he or she has time. Then, your friend can respond. I was so surprised after the first few times I used the app at how much more connecting it is to watch video and hear conversational words, rather than read a text message. If I couldn’t meet my friend for tacos and sit across from her to catch up on life, this seemed like a wonderful alternative.

Creating Groups in Marco Polo

Within weeks, I had recruited several other friends to the app. I was so energized and fulfilled by connecting with my buddies. I even learned that I could create a friend group in the app! The group option allows you to connect several friends and leave a message at once for all of them. When they respond, everyone in the group can catch up with each other at once. This is perfect for my group of friends from my college years that are all in similar life phases as me.

We now talk almost every day via Marco Polo about mom struggles, how we are growing and changing as women, hilarious stories from our daily lives, fears about our parents getting older, and the list goes on. Prior to the app, we would send one-off texts to each other and maybe give an occasional call. Considering they live in Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Dakota, we rarely have the opportunity to see each other. We love each other and want to stay connected, but it’s hard. Since we started our group in the Marco Polo app, I think we are much closer.

marco polo app - keeps friends connected

I am not advertising or promoting this one app. It has been what works for me, but I have no doubt there are plenty of other apps that are similar. What I am promoting is using technology at our fingertips to find ways to reconnect with our friends. It is so important to deepen our relationships and to bond with others as we get older. After all, it seems that in the phase where we need our friendships the most, it can be the absolute hardest time to remain connected. I am forever grateful for the technology that gave me my relationships back!

How do you stay connected with friends in this busy phase of life?

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Becki is a resident of Hoover, and works full-time as a software product manager. She has been married for eight years to her husband, Garrett. She is Momma to Gabe, a precious 5 year-old who loves music, animals, affection, and making new friends. Becki is a fan of football and gymnastics, enjoys planning trips to The Happiest Place on Earth, and loves spending time with her small group. She has a Springer Spaniel, Rigby, who is more an extra child than a pet. On the rare occasion that Becki has time to herself, she enjoys learning more about Myers Briggs (she's an ESTJ), practicing public speaking, and having deep conversation with friends. When Gabe was born he suffered an extensive brain injury that led to multiple diagnoses, primarily Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. While their journey is not what they expected, Garrett and Becki are grateful and honored to be parents to a son who has exceeded the joy they thought possible. Team Irby loves sharing their story - the good, the bad, and the ugly - to increase awareness and kindness.

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