Are you losing touch with your friends from college? Summer job? bungalow colony? Do you have family members around the globe? Here’s an idea to keep in touch with them.
When I was a student at NYU, I used to meet my friends in the kosher cafeteria every day at the same time for lunch. We had our own table all the way in the back and no matter how early or late I came for lunch I always found someone there. Like most people I thought we’d always stick together- somehow we’d find a cafeteria somewhere to continue our friendship. I graduated over five years ago and that cafeteria never materialized. I didn’t see some of my classmates for two to three year stretches. But this isn’t just a sad story about how friends drift apart when life gets in the way- technology has changed it all.
Recently I ran into one of those friends at a mutual friend’s wedding. After some brief catching up it was time to go and we ended with the usual “we should get together sometime.”
But this time I decided to take some action. Surely there is some way to use technology to keep us in touch. And there is, Yahoo has a groups section appropriately named “yahoogroups”. At its basis is a mail list manager that automatically can track large groups of people. This way anyone on the list can send an email to one address and it gets to everyone else on the list. If someone changes jobs and gets a new email address, they only need to let one place know of their move.
I emailed my NYU cafeteria mates with the address to join the list, all they had to do was send an email to that address and were automatically added to the group. They in turn could invite others who I didn’t have email addresses for.
To ensure that we’d stay in touch we decided to have either a lunch or dinner on the first Tuesday of each month. The mail list helped us with discussions and kept track of the details. The calendar feature is convenient to keep our meetings in order and send out reminders.
Recently, Aaron, one of the NYUers, brought a new digital camera to an event. He emailed me the results. I couldn’t keep these great pictures private. Rather than just sending these to the whole list and clog people’s email with large pictures- I looked to Yahoogroups who had a better answer. I put the pictures in the “photo” section so everyone can see it whenever they want to.
Yahoogroups and other services like it are a great way to keep in touch with classmates, shuls, and even family. Try it at http://groups.yahoo.com/
During a recent week I saw some of my former classmates three times. Some would say that’s too much, but I’m glad to say it reminds me of old times. I wonder if that table in the cafeteria is still waiting for us?