My grandmother is 97 and still has the depression-mentality of getting charged on the phone by the minute and will only stay on the call for thirty seconds, maybe a minute. My aunt is the opposite, her phone bills are studied by physics professors; how she stretches fifteen minutes of talking time into an hour is still a mystery of time. My grandmother used to be criticized for this until we noticed that we always pick up when she calls and talk to her for a minute or two because we all knew it wouldn’t be a huge time commitment, and we’d be off the phone soon. When my aunt calls, the call invariably goes to voicemail because there’s an hour-long conversation attached to that callback.
Apply this same mentality to your relationships when keeping up with people you know. Conversations don’t have to be long, and you can connect with more people when you spare 5 minutes and not 50. A call is superior to a text because a text is more impersonal and a call gives greater importance than a text. You can even begin the call with a variation of the phrase “I only have five minutes, but I was thinking of you and wanted to hear how you’re doing.” This puts a predetermined end time to the call that you can adhere to in order to keep it short and sweet.
You don’t have to continually tell people you only have 5 minutes to talk but reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while that you’ve been putting off and build that relationship with a small step.
The result? I talk to my grandmother all the time. I almost never talk to my aunt.