When I was growing up we had a family friend whose great-grandmother lived in France. Our friend made a point to call her once a month and her Grandmother would start every conversation marveling at the technology that made the phone call possible, across two continents and an ocean. “Isn’t technology amazing?” she would say. My Mother and I always got a chuckle out of that, after all, long distance phone calls were nothing new.
A few years later I went off to college. My parents lived in one of about three locations in the United States that couldn’t get high speed internet so we still used dial up. As my Dad set my flashy new Dell desktop up (with an incredibly sleek for its day flat screen monitor) he plugged into the dorm’s T-1 line. He couldn’t get over the speed of the connection, how quickly I could download music or a website. Technology, we all agreed, was amazing.
Over the past two years my parents have been making the move to Apple, as have B and I. As computers die they are being replaced by iMacs and MacBooks. When we got new iPhone 4’s we scoffed at the “Facetime” feature – we wouldn’t ever want to use that kind of technology. I can’t tell you how surprised I was a few weeks later when my Dad and I used Facetime on our phones so I could help him download Facetime for the iMac. Suddenly my nephew, age two, could sit in a desk chair and wave at me. Show me his nose. Blow kisses, and show me each of his favorite toys. I could ask him questions and he could actually see me, and at the end of it all he leaned over and gave the screen a big, sloppy kiss. Just for me, his Auntie.
Isn’t technology amazing?