Making Long Distance Relationships work with Technology
Going the distance to say connected this Valentine's Day with your wweetheart
You live in Denver. She lives in Chicago. You met in college, but can't seem to get a job in the same city.
Published on LatinoLA: February 10, 2012
Let's face it ‘«Ű long distance love is rough. But with today's technology, there are tools that can help you make the space between you and your partner seem smaller. Keep the spark in your long distance romance alive with these tips from Geek Squad.
‘«ů I See You, Can You See Me: Communication is key in a long distance relationship, but marathon phone conversations can be pricy. With the help of video conferencing programs such as Skype, Google+ Hangouts and FaceTime, a computer/smartphone/tablet, webcam and microphone, you'll not only hear that voice you've come to love ‘«Ű you'll see his/her face as well. Set up a video conferencing dinner on Valentine's Day, and host your very own virtual date night. You two will be able to enjoy a romantic evening without having to wait an hour to be seated! Just set up your computer/smartphone/tablet in front of a place setting, sign on and start video chatting.
If you're at a location without WiFi, don't worry. Some smartphones and tablets will let you create your own roaming WiFi signal. Once you are connected on your phone, you can pick up the signal on your laptop as well.
‘«ů You've Got Mail: Sometimes it can be hard to schedule times when you and your significant other both aren't too busy to talk. If your schedules don't always work out, consider leaving "video mail" using the "record video" feature on Facebook. It's a great way to leave the social media equivalent of a message in a bottle for that person getting off a long work shift a world away.
‘«ů Games, Games, Games: Find an online game that you can play together. From MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft to playing Words With Friends on your smartphone or tablet, shared experiences help cement the bond between two people. Another way to keep the competition alive is with gaming systems such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. They're equipped with voice chatting capabilities, allowing players to dish out the lovable trash talk while on the virtual battle field.
Even if you aren't a hardcore gamer there are lots of ways to play fun, casual games on your smartphone, tablet or on Facebook. Games like Words With Friends and Hanging With Friends allow you to play old-fashioned favorites on your new technology.
‘«ů Time Flies: If flying is the only way to travel to see your mate, sign up for cheap flight alerts through weekly newsletters from Travelzoo.com, Priceline.com and Orbitz.com, follow airlines on Twitter for additional deals or download apps from your favorite travel sites like KAYAK (Android and iPhone, free), Orbitz (Android and iPhone, free) and Priceline (Android and iPhone, free) as well as airlines like Southwest (Android and iPhone, free), American Airlines (Android and iPhone, free) and Delta (Android and iPhone, free). You can find some incredible deals, if you know where to look.
‘«ů I'm Lost Without You: If you live within driving distance of your partner, you're in luck. But maps from the gas station can sometimes be out of date. Invest in a GPS system or use your smartphone's map features to make sure you don't lose your way on a weekend visit. And remember, your GPS is only as good as its maps ‘«Ű so make sure to download the latest and greatest versions.
Technology can also help you save money on gas while you're making frequent trips back and forth. Some GPS systems give users the option to take the route that uses the least amount of gas. You can also beat the high prices at the pumps by using the free GasBuddy app (iPhone, Android and Blackberry, free) to find the closest gas station with the lowest prices. Another useful app for locating gas stations and seeing pricing information is TripTik (Android and iPhone, free). It's extremely useful if you're a AAA member because you can also see route maps, AAA offices locations and AAA-approved hotels, restaurants, and auto repair locations. And the best part is it's free.
‘«ů Hand-Made With Love: One might think that all blogs are available for the whole World Wide Web to see. Think again! Create a private, password-protected blog on a site such as TypePad.com or Blogger.com as a tribute to your sweetie this Valentine's Day. Post favorite pictures, memorable moments and your Top 10 Favorite Things about that special someone on the blog. As long as you two are the only ones with the password, you can update your site as often as you'd like to create the perfect project that will keep you two connected.
‘«ů Sharing is Caring: Trying to plan a surprise visit with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day, but don't know what time they'll be home from work? Keep each other updated all year long with a free online shared calendar. Sites such as Yahoo!, Windows Live and Google offer private calendars that allow more than one person to update them, so you two can stay connected with each other's daily agendas. Wish your partner could have been there for that Bon Jovi concert you went to last night? Write every detail in the shared journal that the Cozi.com calendar has to offer or upload pics with the Keepandshare.com option.
For help with all your technology needs, call 1.800 GEEK SQUAD to set up an onsite consultation, find a location or an Agent at www.geeksquad.com, or visit the Geek Squad Precinct at Best Buy and other locations to speak with an Agent directly.