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The wonders of our technological world…that I rarely stop to ponder

February 20, 2012

It’s funny how in any given age, you are likely to find that the people of a generation have quickly taken for granted the technology of their times. Often, the intelligence, software, electronics, mechanics and codes that fly around us at the speed of light (or at least as unrecognizably so) go without even a passing glimpse. And then, there are those moments when you are struck dumb in your tracks, with your own personal revelation that technology. is. great. I don’t mean “to be worshipped” great. I don’t mean “solving the world’s problems” great. Because it’s not. I mean that what one has seen progress in one’s own lifetime, and what one has heard from older generations has already progressed becomes unfrozen and alive, bursting forth in a way that overwhelms all else, pulsing like a great rushing river.  At such times, a person might stand and stare into the face of some invention or tool or efficient machine, a record player, a train or even a mobile phone and say, whhow. I had one such moment recently. A moment that is so small and so silly that you probably won’t even see it as much of an observation at all. SKYPE. Ok, so we all (wow, I really assume a certain readership here, no?) use it from time to time. We all connect via voice and video, getting irritated when the mouth moves slower than the words, or when from Minnesota to Malaysia there is a freezing blip across the image. And yet, this amazing tool that connects us together has of late overwhelmed me in its ability to grant access to each other in ways that we have not previously known. This realization came last Friday when watching my little niece (of sorts) Hiwa on the screen eating her breakfast. I became overwhelmed with how I could be present for the little details of her movement; how I could passively notice some aspect of her, some twist of her grin, and know her a little bit more despite the distance. She would not again be 14 months, and I would not be there to see the nuances of her movement at that age. But through this crazy techology, Skype, I could for a moment. And these little nuances were to me like a rushing river.

The funny thing? It took an older technology to point this out to me. The camera.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan K permalink
    February 20, 2012 11:04 pm

    I don’t remember what the keystrokes are but you can also “capture” screenshots while you’re on Skype.

  2. February 23, 2012 12:14 am

    cool–thanks! I had not thought of this! I think because I enjoy the act of photography so much, and somehow being behind a lens in front of a camera behind a lens was its own funny experience! how are you and the girls and ezer? sending you all so much love!

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