There are a lot of problems with the internet I know, but lately I’ve been thinking how good it can be….
To start with I have two of my four sons currently on the other side of the world in Malaysia and Thailand.
Add to that, the son who lives in Malaysia is there with his lovely wife, from Sabah, and their 3 sons – our only grandchildren.
Without Skype it would be such a long time between seeing the grandchildren they wouldn’t know who we were when they next met us… as it is they recognise, chat to and make funny faces at us all here – both their gran and granddad and their great-gran and great- granddad.
The son in Thailand keeps in touch via facebook messages- he leaves them for me – I leave them for him – as their time is eight hours adrift from ours and his internet access does not always coincide. When they do we, too, skype chat – it’s good to see him when we talk.
Even the boys in the UK are on the other side of the country and their FB profile posts keep me up-to-date with them along with the messages we share. They, of course, are close enough to phone when we want to talk.
Then there are online courses you can take – and it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, or the people leading the course are. These can be webinars or standard ‘email’ courses – but whichever, they are open to you on the internet.
Which brings me to the smallness of the world.
A while ago I did an online course – which, as part of the proceeds from the course, we, the attendees were offered our ‘own place’ to hang out. We had a facebook page dedicated to that particular cohort of the course – and were given a link into the ‘mother facebook group’ of all those who had done the course before and, now, since. Part of the idea was we would not need to be alone when we stepped out into the blog-o-sphere – we could support and converse with others.
Now, the course was led from America, and the group I was in was mainly Americans, a few Australians and from the UK, me, but it didn’t matter – many of us joined the group and do converse, support and read each other’s blogs and facebook posts. Such a one is an Australian who had commented on my blog or FB posts, and I on hers – Ellen.
Then came this October when Ellen came to the UK for a long visit with the end aim of attending a writer’s conference in Brighton. Before that she and a friend were travelling around the West country. This is how it was that when she was in our area I offered to show her a few places nearby (Cotehele, Dupath Well, our C12th church, etc), saying that she and her friend could stay for a couple of days. All of a sudden this online friendship became a friendship anyone would recognise, they even came to the bellydance class with me 🙂 … and the world got that little bit smaller.
Have you made online friends across the world?
Do you ‘bless’ skype, facebook et al for helping keep your family in touch?
Do share, you know I love to hear from you