Sometimes, I forget that the world is big. There’s timezones and bodies of water that separate people thousands of miles away. The technology I’ve grown up with has drastically shrunk my world, allowing me to tap into resources that are on the other side of the planet with basically no effort. That also includes how easily I can keep in touch with people.
I’ve gone to Italy and Israel, and even though my trips were relatively short, I still took the time to blog (check it out: whatsjackiedoing.wordpress.com) to let my friends and family virtually check up on me, or video chat before I went to bed. Now that I have friends all over the country (and the world!) I’m relying on this technology all the time.
It hit me today how amazing our common technology is when I received an iMessage from a friend who just recently arrived in Spain for a study abroad experience. so cool. Even the thought that I could communicate with someone an entire ocean away sometimes blows my mind. We got to chat about what he was doing in Spain with no problem. I can even video chat him whenever we’re both in a wifi area. Seriously, think about it for a second. Our common technology is amazing.
Messaging him also got me thinking about what my relationships with my friends would be like if things like Skype, iMessage, or even the internet weren’t so easily accessible. My friend in Spain will be out of the US until December. Yes, we could communicate in letters, but if he moves locations or doesn’t have the time to write one, we’d be out of touch for quite some time. It also extends to more than just my friends or family that are too far away to see. I’ve grown up in a time where sending a text message is an acceptable form of communication, from making dinner plans to having an argument. Phone calls are nearly obsolete (even though I call over text every time) and we’re moving into a digital world.
What if we didn’t have a virtual means of contacting our friends and family? Would those relationships be different? You bet.