The Virtual Good Neighbor Is On The Way

Checking in is a good thing again

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Photo credit: Darrin Atkins

Things have changed. Yes, even though we are in a new year, that does not mean we are all back to normal. That is not the case at all.

The world is a lot different now. We have to be more careful about how we interact with others and we need to remember things like masks and social distancing. These items and the changes associated with them are going to be a part of our lives for a very long time.

The thing that is most important, I would suggest, is that we remember that we are still a social group. We are family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, customers, entrepreneurs, and so on and so forth. We still need each other in one way or another.

There are so many little things that we can do in the new year, maybe even more so than we ever did before. We can go out of our way to do these things.

  • Saying hello
  • Smiling and waving
  • Sending a nice email
  • Sharing a funny story
  • Reaching out by phone or text
  • Offering to pay for a meal delivered to somebody’s home
  • Preparing a care package to send to a person or family in need

Each of us can be a virtual knocking good neighbor, a friendly face that used to go around the neighborhood to check on people. We don’t have to be nosy or go where it is unsafe. No, not at all. We don’t have to be intrusive. We don’t have to overstay our presence.

What we can do is show that we care. How do we do this? It doesn’t take much work at all and you don’t have to spend any money.

Life is all about the little things. How do you feel about yourself in relation to others in your life? Do you give of yourself a little, or not? Do others check in on you and seem genuinely concerned?

Each of us can do our part to check in on others and to let them know we care. The communication should be void of any strings attached. That means that checking in on friends and family should be about just checking in and nothing else, no conversations about debts or complaints about this or that.

Here are some ideas about becoming a virtual good neighbor.

  • Be a regular. This means to check in on someone or a group of people on a set schedule. This helps people know what to expect and not to be surprised out of the blue. There are friendly faces in my life that pop in virtually every once in a while and maybe they are checking in our not, or they are just being friendly. I can almost predict how many days will pass without contact that they will check in, and I like that.
  • Be wanted. You may be more welcome if it doesn’t look like you are checking in because there is some real need. Try to be part of a group, if that helps, so it is not just you. Don’t make things seem like the person needs to be looked after. If it’s not working out, learn to move on.
  • Be sincere. You may not want to check in or communicate with others if you don’t really want to do it, because at some point it will become a chore. Make sure you want to do what you are doing because you want to check in on others and also because they want it too.
  • Be understanding. If someone doesn’t want you checking in so much, be cool about it. Sometimes people need space and that is okay too. As the saying goes, absence can make the heart grow fonder for someone else.

These are all just ideas about being a virtual good neighbor and they don’t necessarily relate to literal neighbors on the same street. A virtual neighbor can be located anywhere on the planet.

Just remember, if you want someone in your life, you need to work at it. Beyond that, only time will tell if the other person or persons want to keep things going on the same path. See what happens and all the best to you and your virtual good neighbors.

Written by

writer and novelist. traveler and adventurer. looking for fun in the sun. chasing the dream. can't stop the feeling that time is going faster.

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