“LOST MUSKET DIARY” Wednesday February 25, 2015
Mostly Sunny 51°F/ 10°C
One science-fiction scenario about the future has the Earth becoming so overcrowded that urban sprawl will completely cover the planet! People confined to their living compartments would have everything delivered by teleportation-food, clothing and new furniture. (Beam me up two Big Macs, fries and a fifth of Jim Beam, Scotty!) All human interaction would be electronic. Telescreens, personal communications devices. Earth would resemble a gigantic beehive. We would become Borgs! But,I’m ready. I have Facebook and Skype!
Like a lot of us nowadays, my life has seen a lot of moving around since I left home – the East Coast, down South and on to the West Coast, where I live now. My travels have also taken me to several countries in Europe as well as Mexico and Central America. And, as a journalist I've met an awful lot of people over the years, and I have a pretty long list of people I like to try to stay in touch with. So, I am grateful that we have the social media to help us stay connected. Skype and Facebook are my windows on the world. And now I've taken even that to a new level with my blog on Blogspot and my own website www.mikebotula.com.
|The Mikes on Skype!|
I may be especially sensitive about this, because of my own immigrant family history, of the giant step people take when they leave everything behind to head for a new world. My grandparents come to mind, leaving their homes in Europe to come to an entirely new country. Even after my parents left Pennsylvania to seek their fortunes in New York City, communications with “back home” in Pittsburgh were a challenge. A long distance telephone call was expensive and difficult to arrange. The calls home at Christmas sometimes took the long-distance operator half an hour or 45 minutes to set up. When my brother was in the Air Force during the Vietnam war, voice communications between us were extremely rare. Communication was by letter, just like the World War 2 V-mails between my parents when my dad was overseas.
|Still There - Wartime Home|
And, another time, as I wrote about my dad’s homecoming from World War 2, I began to wonder if the house my mom and I lived in was still there. Google Earth assured me that it still is, after 70 years. When, Dana and her family move to Texas later this year, I can still help my grandson with his homework. Thanks to the tablet computer I gave him, and Skype. Two years ago I chaired our high school reunion event committee. It’s members were classmates scattered from Nova Scotia to New York, the Washington, DC area, Florida, the Southwest and California. Very challenging. Not exactly easy to call a committee meeting. So, we did most of the initial work via email exchanges and individual phone calls. Then I arranged a conference call. Finally as we got closer to the reunion date, I set up a Skype party line conference call. It took some doing because, while some of them were using Skype for the first time.
|Mike and Laura's New Building|
|My Rome Apartment|
One other thing that I've become sensitive to, since I live in a “55-plus” Geezer apartment complex is that it is so easy for older people to lose touch with friends and family. I find it interesting that quite a few of my neighbors have computers and make a special effort to keep in touch with their friends and family through social media. Skype is very popular, and a good visiting nurse or care giver will make part of their assignment helping an elderly client stay in touch with their world outside through Skype and the other social media. My own grand-kids live just ten minutes away from me, but their other grandparents are farther away - Nanna and Nonno live in Rome!
A very popular item at our nearby Senior Services Center are the classes in I phone and tablet computer skills. So…today it’s Facebook and Skype. I imagine that tomorrow will bring Facebook and Skype and the other social media not only in glorious, living color, but holograms!
© By Mike Botula 2015