Staying in touch with close friends requires more effort when everybody lives somewhere else on the planet. Scheduling calls to catch up certainly works, but it requires time-commitment, and time zones make scheduling unnecessarily complicated.

After living in NYC for a year, I ended up doing the following: If I walk somewhere for about 30 minutes, I’d text 2 friends or family members, asking if they’re available for a chat. Often one of them would end up calling me. This way, no prior planning was necessary, things felt more spontaneous and I was able to use my NYC walking time to catch up.

The problems

  • If I text a friend Hey X, are you free for a call?, chances are they’re at work, asleep, with friends or don’t look at their phone. They’d see my message 2 hours later and reply Yep, sure, calling you now. The problem here is that by that time I’m unavailable, as the message is from 2 hours ago.
  • If a friend doesn’t know about this setup, they’d think I want to discuss something specific or urgent, however those kinds of calls are just to catch up and stay in touch.
  • Often, either none of my friends were available, or multiple responded, so it was always a tricky balance on how many friends I’d text, with the risk of both of them replying Yep, I'm free now
  • If one friend is never available, you kind of “forget” to text them, as you already assume subconsciously that they won’t be available

The solution

A Telegram bot that manages the communication and revokes messages as soon as you’re unavailable again.

Why Telegram?

  • It works on every major platform, including iOS, Android and macOS
  • It supports revoking of messages and notifications, even from the lock screen
  • They have a solid bots API
  • Registration for new users is easy & fast

More details on