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Ditch iMessage, Try 5 Clever Alternatives for Keeping in Touch

Summer goodbyes can be hard, especially when you're parting with someone that you lived with for an entire school year (somehow texting and FaceTime-ing don't feel quite the same). Sure, this summer could be just another spent Snapchatting your best friend during every waking moment. Or, you could get much more creative and make long-distance memories that will last for more than just 10 seconds. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Spotify Collaborative Playlist

Spotify is unique in its iTunes-meets-social-media fusion. Because it’s both a music app and a social media app, there are a plethora of staying-in-contact options. One great option is to create a playlist on Spotify, and under the extra playlist options, select “Collaborative Playlist.” Add all of your pals to the list and create the most “lit” jam list. Not only can you create summer lists and throwbacks, but you could start planning ahead to next year’s fall festivities and get a jumpstart on your “Back-to-Cool” playlist.

Quote Book Swap

If you and your friend are a more reflective and philosophical pair, starting a book of quotes is a creative and inspirational way to keep in touch. While an actual handwritten book of quotes could be more memorable, it could get pretty expensive to ship back and forth. If shipping is an issue, start a collaborative Google Doc to add some of your favorite quotes throughout the summer.

After the list has been compiled and the summer comes to a close, separately print out each quote on the doc and create a booklet of quotes decorated and personalized. Then, when the two of you are reunited, gift each other with the quote books. Both books will have the same quotes but will be decorated and crafted completely different—a special gift to enjoy for years to come.

Postcard Swap

Wherever you are this summer, find the tackiest and most random postcards from your location (pro tip: grocery stores often have hefty supplies). Even if you’re in your hometown for the summer, jazz up the boring postcards with your own stickers and maybe some Sharpie edits to the photos. The message on the backside of the postcard is up to the author's ingenuity. Since these postcards may not be all about a featured location, be sure to spice them up with an original message.

Mix Tapes

Spotify playlists may be all the rage for our generation; however, our music-sharing history cannot be forgotten. Download some groovy jams onto iTunes and burn a fire mix CD for your best friend or significant other to bob their heads to on their Walkman—or at least in their car. Maybe even start out the playlist with a personalized voice memo, introducing your unique piece of multimedia. Theme or no theme, it's no worries. The exciting part of a mix CD is the mystery within the playlist. The listener must listen to the entire CD to know exactly what songs the creator has graced the hot fire playlist with.

Creative Social Media Contact

Sure, everyone uses iMessage and FaceTime in the summer to stay in contact. Still, there are plenty of other options out there to stay connected. Instagram direct message is a great way to share photos and store them—much better than only seeing Snapchats for 10 seconds max. Also, who says Tindr has to be a hook-up app? Slide into your friend’s DMs out of the blue—it’s basically just like Facebook Messenger and you can even send GIFs over Tindr messenger.

Making phone calls over Facebook Messenger is also an option that not many make use of, which might be another great option if your friend is going abroad. Plan a special theme for your conversations, or exchange “Highs and Lows” in a weekly reflection that shares one great moment and one not-so-good moment from the past week.

While all these ideas are good and fun, remember to also enjoy where you are and whom you are with while you and your best friend are separated. Don’t lose track of the present in complete concentration on your future reunion.

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