1.86 billion people log into their Facebook account at least once a month–that’s almost 1/4 of the total global population! This number doesn’t even include other outlets like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. People in developing countries are no exception to this global trend, and chances are, the child you sponsor has a social media account too.
Social media today is one of the main ways people build relationships with each other. As a child sponsor, or a mission team member who’s thinking about sponsoring a child, you probably have the desire to build a lasting relationship with a child in need, and social media is a tempting outlet. We love that sponsors want to take the initiative to communicate with their child because we believe building relationships is key when empowering those in need.
So why is this blog called, “Why Can’t I Instant Message My Sponsored Child?” when seemingly everyone in the world communicates this way? Well, we have a few good reasons why social media could actually work against the growing relationship you have with your sponsored child rather than help it.
If you were to communicate with your sponsored child through social media, you’d be missing the opportunity to bond in a more substantial way like writing a letter. By taking the time to write letters, you’re showing a child that they’re important enough for you to spend some thoughtful time hand-writing a letter to them. Children often keep the letters they receive from their sponsors, reading them over and over again. In this way your letter is a gift to your child–something they can keep and treasure–which only enhances the value of your relationship. Letters are the best way to communicate with your sponsored child because they give you an opportunity to share substantial information about you and your family and ask important questions about your child. If you would like help with ideas on what to write, check out our Tips for Writing a Letter to Your Child blog here. Letters are also translated by our staff, which prevents cultural misunderstandings or awkward situations from happening.
For example, imagine the following Facebook chat between a sponsor and a child: