Computers, the Internet, and networking have changed the way many people socialize, yes even seniors. Families separated by great distances are now able to exchange e-mails, send pictures, and talk face to face by using services such as Skype.
I had heard of Skype and thought it sounded like a good idea, but probably wouldn’t have initiated it myself. I had seen Raj talking to his parents on episodes of The Big Bang Theory, and of course that ridiculously funny scene in the movie It’s Complicated, but that was the extent of my interest.
But then our daughter decided to spend the winter in Australia. I guess she thought that it would be a good way to keep an eye on us, because she downloaded Skype to our computer and ordered a set of headphones before she left. The only hard part was figuring out the time difference and arranging a time to meet. We tried it out for the first time this weekend and guess what? I liked it. I liked it a lot more than talking on the telephone. For one thing, I am more comfortable sitting at my computer in a comfortable chair than trying to find a quiet place in the house to talk on the phone. I also like having my hands free because I think better if I can use them. For example: Daughter was able to talk me through downloading her latest e-book to my Nook while we were visiting. I never would have understood the instructions if I were just listening on the phone, but with our computers in front of us we were able to work through the process together. I’ve read of people learning/ teaching reading or piano lessons this way. It’s a whole new name for togetherness. I was impressed that the reception was so good. I could actually hear tropical bird’s sounds from her balcony, as if I were in the next room.
This is technology at its finest, technology that anyone can use. I am still waiting for some of my friends to come on board (only a few have snapped that they don’t need any more new fangled gadgets) and plan to take full advantage of video conferencing technology. That’s all it is you know; the ability to place a call using your computer. Imagine that you can see the other person (if you wish) and have a face to face conversation.
It is all about creating connections near and far. If you live miles away from your children and grandchildren it is like stepping into their home for a visit or a how to lesson. You could show your daughter how to make a pie crust from scratch or put the finishing touches on a roast beef dinner. Life doesn’t get much better does it?