Either my gadgets are getting smarter or I’m getting dumber…Probably both! Not so long ago if I had an interesting tidbit to relate, I could have told you exactly where I heard it. Or read it. Now . . . not so much. The sheer volume of information that I am exposed to has blossomed exponentially and my sources are everywhere.
A few years back my niece set up a family website. Most of us had a cell phone and we all had access to email, but suddenly this became our main source of family unity. Emotionally we are a close and sharing family but we are scattered all over the country so our new family website was like a virtual family gathering. We had picture pages, wish lists and a family calendar, but the most important page was the chat room. None of us would have dreamed of going through an entire day without checking in to see what the rest of the family was up to. We thought this was the end-all in family connectedness!
How quickly that all changed! Now we have smartphones and a download called WhatsApp. Now we “chat” via our phones. Even better, we can share photos and videos. I saw my granddaughter’s missing front teeth and the progress of my daughter’s house construction in New York, my grandson’s fascination with his dad’s power drill and his sister showing off her dance moves in Massachusetts. I can see and hear two other granddaughters playing in a violin recital and dancing at a Feis in Maryland. On Mother’s day I did face-time with my kids and grandkids - hundreds of miles away and they blew me kisses, sang me songs and showed me their latest artwork, and toys.
Then there’s Facebook and Twitter! Who could have even begun to imagine the effect Facebook and Twitter would have on our social lives just a few years ago? Turns out these social mediums and dozens of others can either be the making or breaking of us. Sadly, a congressman from New York found out just how devastatingly ruinous it can be to post something he shouldn’t have. But conversely, an acquaintance of mine gave up waiting for the publishing world to recognize her talent and she self-published her book, which by word of mouth, spread over the country and the world via the internet and became a best seller beyond her wildest dreams. For most of us, they are just another way of sharing the things that make life fun, interesting, challenging and rewarding. Or for staying in touch with all the people we know, no matter how our paths might diverge.
And Blogs! Keeping a personal journal online for the whole world to follow. You can share ideas and information on any topic you can think of. There’s Skpye if you want to see who you’re communicating with. U-tube to share videos. Wikipedia, Ask.com - Google has become a verb! Don’t know the answer to something? Google it!!
Is it any wonder I can’t remember where I heard something? Now if only my smartphone could start an alphabetical file to help me keep track of things. Oh wait—maybe there’s an app for that!