Instant messaging has been around for the better part of the last 20 years, but it's still an excellent way to keep in touch with your family. Since most of us are constantly connected to the Internet, be it through a cell phone or a computer, it's easy to have a quick chat with a family member. That person could be in another country -- or across the street. Instant messaging is the simplest form of Internet-based communication, but that's no reason to disregard it. Sometimes just taking a few seconds to say hello is enough to bring family closer together.