Next best thing to being there

I am grateful for video chat technology.

Whether it is Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Webex, Teams, Duo, Hangouts, Messenger or whatever, I have been feeling blessed to have access to such technologies over the past two years.

Two years ago, I referred to video chat as the ‘the next best thing’, but acknowledged that “it just isn’t the same as being there”. No, it isn’t. But video calling sure helps, when being there just isn’t possible.

Earlier this month, I spent time with my one-year-old grandson who normally lives 3 time zones away. We don’t get to be up-close and personal often enough, but we usually start each day with a virtual breakfast together. That meant that we weren’t strangers when we got together in real-time, in real-life. I had a similar experience last November when I met my (then 15-month old) granddaughter for the first time, after COVID-induced travel restrictions were lifted.

With each of the kids, there was an immediate attachment – reaching to touch the life-sized version of the person they recognized from the small screen of their parents’ phones.

We have come a long way from the AT&T Picturephone demonstrated at the 1964 World’s Fair, but the concept is the same.

I salute all of those involved in making the technology as functional and economical as it is today.

Thank you for making it easier to keep connected.

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