After 31 years in the United States, I find myself more American than I ever expected to be, yet not so American in many ways.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Nice to see you!
We've been using Skype for a while now to call family in the UK. I think the first time I logged in to Skype there were fewer than a million people online. Nowadays it's more like 15 million. I was surprised this morning when it was only 10 million - but I suppose a lot of people use it for business. Anyway, we have only recently started making video calls using Skype, and I have to say it's wonderful! We made a couple of calls to the UK today and saw my parents, my niece and nephews and their parents. It's a long time since my kids have seen their cousins, and DS probably doesn't have a really clear memory of them, so being able to see and talk to them was really nice. DS enjoyed putting his face close to the camera to show off the fact that he's lost two of his baby teeth and there is a new one coming through.
The best part of the calls was the fact that I was using a Macbook with a built-in camera, so I was able to walk around the house with it. At one point my sister said, "Take me to the kitchen!" and I did. My mother wanted a closer look at a piece of artwork on the wall so I obliged. We were about to hang up when my kids yelled that my father-in-law was just pulling up on the driveway. My mum said she'd stay online until he came in the house so she could say hello to him - after all it wasn't going to cost any extra! Rather than walk away from the computer to let him in, I took the laptop to the front door with me, so as he walked in the house she greeted him with a cheery "Merry Christmas!" The look on his face was priceless! The kids' great-great-aunt (in her 90's) was with him, and her reaction was complete discombobulation - at first she thought she was looking at herself, then she thought it was a video and finally asked "Is she answering me back?" Great-great-aunt is, as my mother-in-law used to say, a hot ticket and she commented later in the day that she'd love to live for another 90 years just to see what new technologies will come along.
It's really not that long since the idea of video phone calls was still pure science fiction, and now not only can we make video calls but with Skype they are free! I wonder what we'll be doing with technology when I'm in my 90s?