Saturday, June 5, 2010

Will Technological Wonders Never Cease

Yesterday morning as I was getting the boys ready for breakfast, I heard the very distinctive tone of a Skype call coming in. It was my mom.

And it was the first video call she's ever done. (Well, by herself anyway. Jeff hooked up the webcam and gave her and my dad a couple lessons when he traveled through there a week ago. Yet another reason why he's the WBH.)

We've been doing video calls with Jeff's parents for a while, but my folks just got broadband access, so it's finally an option with them. While it's not the same as seeing everyone in person, it's a nice option when you live far away and frequent visits just aren't possible.

What's even more impressive is that my mom is 78 and my dad is 83. Just proves that you are never too old to learn something new, doesn't it?

It wasn't that long ago that none of this technology existed. When Jeff and I were living in different towns when we were first dating, we wrote letters. Yes, letters. On paper. Sent through the mail with a stamp. We called occasionally, but long-distance was expensive, so we didn't talk frequently.

Now, I call my sisters on my cell phone and since we all have the same provider, we don't even use any minutes to chat. Or I send a quick text. Or I send email.

Jeff and I were email and computer chat pioneers back in the early 90s when we were going to college in two different states. I remember sitting in the university library at a VDT (video data terminal, for those of you too young to remember those days). It was a black screen with green text, and Jeff and I could "chat" back and forth.

By the time we were seniors, email had come along, sort of. I remember going deep into the basement of the education building where the computer science geeks were to sign up for an email address. It wasn't a standard thing back then. We had really advanced by then, and could "dial-up" to send email from our apartments, instead of going to the library.

The fact that letter writing is a dying art is a whole different post. (I do still write and send real letters from time to time.) As much as I cherish the letters I have from my husband, my parents, and my grandmother, I have to say that anything that can bring together grandparents and grandchildren who live hundreds of miles apart is something to be celebrated.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

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