Technology is an amazing thing. It’s a bit ridiculous really, when you think about how far we have come in the past ten to twenty years. We’ve gone from huge main frames to pcs to laptops to smart phones to iPads to Google Glasses in what feels like the blink of an eye. Technology has truly changed the way we live our lives.
It does, however, sometimes get a bad rap.
For example, many feel that the increase in screen time has numbed the minds of our young. I read an article recently comparing screen time to heroin for young children. I personally believe that if a balance can be found with physical activity and a creative outlet, that it can’t hurt. Don’t get me wrong, it can suck our little ones in and hold on tight if not managed properly, pulling them into a massive black hole.
Then there is the issue of distracted driving. Not an problem until a few years ago, but now a growing concern. The number of fatalities from distracted driving has now surpassed that of impaired driving in Canada. Yet people still do it. I see it every single day. Young, old, male and female. And I know they now better because when they see me glaring at them in their cars at the stop light, they quickly put their phones away. Ya, I do that.
But today I saw the undeniable upside of technology. I arranged for my 83 year old mother to Skype with her twin brother who lives in England. Neither my mom or my uncle have been able to fly for a number of years and as such have not seen each other in a long time. Being twins they have always had a close relationship and despite regular phone calls my mom felt a bit disconnected from him.
So a Skype call was arranged. In my mom’s eyes I performed a miracle, but in all honesty all it took was a few emails and the installation of a new app on my iPad.
The looks on their faces as they realized that they could see each another and talk to each other while sitting in their kitchens was beyond priceless.
“Your face looks fatter.” My mom said not so tactfully.
“You’ve lost weight. You look more like our mother now.” He replied.
They talked about my uncles new great grandson and how his wife was doing in the facility she now lived in. Nothing earth shattering, but you could see, and hear, that they were beyond thrilled to be on the call. I think my mom wanted to reach out and touch the screen a few times just to make sure that it was real. That it really was her brother on the screen and not just a mirage.
She kept saying. “I can’t believe I can see you so clearly.”
Roughly five thousand miles away and eight hours time difference, but to them, they might as well have been in the same room. Today I saw how technology could simply make my mom’s day. That is The Best Thing in Life and we should never take it for granted.