It’s a marvel of ingenuity and engineering that I was able to send a short video home to @m_treanor of what I was seeing from the train window within seconds just using my iPhone. He then messaged back immediately with his response.
It wasn’t anything remarkable really, just a view from the window of something that had once been an everyday sight when we used to live in Oxfordshire. Obviously we’d have preferred them to be a real-time and not virtual shared experience but the act of sharing such mundane experiences, thoughts and asynchronous conversations that have bridged the miles with my nearest and dearest on this solo trip to the UK.
What’s even more remarkable is that the cost of communicating by text, instant, instant messaging and by video call was very inexpensive. It’s the efforts of @m_treanor and other ICT engineers like him that keep people across the world connected at the touch of a button. Not sure I give him enough credit for the wonderful things he really does.
That said unlike my parents in-law, my sister-in-law is not a huge fan of the FaceTime/Skype phenomena. It’s not that she’s a technological luddite but that she finds the virtual reality experience a bit unsettling. Her children, my nephews, have no such qualms and whose parting words were see you on FaceTime as they ran off into school after those embarrassing auntie good-bye hugs.
Thankfully my father has embraced the iPad and FaceTime as preferable to the traditional telephone. He is a man of a certain generation where phones are functional devices for conducting business not hanging out with his daughter on the other side of the globe.