Friday, 16 July 2010

Redefining the Term "Long-Distance"

The Other Half headed back home to England on Tuesday, so Crumpet and I are here on our own with Grandma and Grandpa in North Carolina for another week and a half. But despite the nearly 4,000 miles that separate us, we've still been able to see each other every day. The evolution of technology really has redefinied the meaning of long distance.

When The Other Half and I started courting ("dating" seems like the wrong word to use since we didn't really go on "dates"), Skype was still relatively new, so we mostly resorted to (what now seems like old-fashioned) e-mail and phone cards to keep in touch. By the time we got married in 2006, Skype and other video messaging services had become more popular, and we were doing web chats maybe once or twice a week. Now, we regularly do video calls with my parents and my sister and her family when we're back in England. Since we've been here in NC, Crumpet has even been able to see her Nana in England three times. For the majority of my childhood, I lived 3,000 miles away from one set of grandparents and 1,000 miles away from the other. If we were lucky, we got to see them each once a year. Even long distance phone calls were expensive, so we maybe talked to them once or twice a month. The idea that one day my children would be able to see people while they were talking to them across the country (or across the ocean, as it turned out) seemed very Jettson-esque, one of those things that I associated with "the future" but could never really picture materializing. It isn't quite the same as being able to see someone and spend time with them in the flesh, but web cams have certainly made it easier to endure the distance.

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