Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time and Distance

Until about 50 years ago, families primarily lived within close proximity to each other. Typically, children grew up in a town and either stayed there or returned after college or time in the service. While this is still the case for some families, for many more they are separated based on job opportunities or retirement or the desire to break out and see something outside of what they have known. This has lead to a vast gulf of time and distance.

Thankfully, the Internet and mobile phone use has made communication and connection easier than it once was. We can pick up the phone, use IM, Tweet, Facebook, share photos or videos in real time. All of these technological advancements are fantastic and connect us in ways we could not have thought of in 20 years ago, but they still cannot take the place of face time. Talking, touching, hugging, and laughing together in the same room, the same place.

I try and speak to my grandson, M., on a daily basis. It is great and I look forward to it, but it does not take the place of holding him, watching his face react as I say something or just kissing him on the corner of his mouth to see him react with a smile. Still, I am grateful that he knows his grandmother's voice and appears eager to speak to me as he grabs the phone, or maybe he just wants a convenient item that he can gum.

Social media has opened dialogue, closed gaps, allowed us to converse with people that we might never meet otherwise, but it cannot take the place of time spent in a relationship with people with love. It is a tool, but not the solution. So get in the car, the train, the plane and go. The year is closing out, the holidays are coming and there is no greater gift you can give to your family and yourself. It is how I am spending my birthday and Thanksgiving and there is not a better way to celebrate those occasions. Expect to see pictures of D., M. and I spending time together in a few weeks. Send us yours! Celebrate those you love!

1 comment:

  1. Not that it will replace holding, but skype is free, easy to use and will give you face time with someone ----- less than in person, more than phone time. Just a thought.