Things or People Remembered?

The first decade of this new millenium draws to a close at midnight tonight. Whatever your timezone, chances are you will look back not only on the year past, but, should be so fortunate as to be a part of the generations that witnessed all the change the last 10 years brought to this third rock from the sun, you will also likely look back on what can arguably be called the decade of communication change.

Sure, we could focus on the fact that 2000 found us lugging around computers that (gasp!) could barely fit into our laps (hail the rise of the 8 pound laptop in years past) OR we could possibly focus on the use of ICQ and MSN messenger as regular means for the “super cool” to communicate. Me? While I could focus on how long it has been since I felt the excitement the screetching sounds of a dial up connection attempting (and often failing) to connect me to the “information superhighway”, instead, today, la ultima dia de 2010, I prefer to focus on how technology has brought people – not things into my life.

Earlier in this decade that now draws to a close, with the ample assistance of an incredibly fast 1 week international mail delivery system by FedEx, I sent my mother (now deceased) her first personal computer (a Compaq with a screen that came in a box 100 times the size of my new Mac Book Air).  While she boasted to others that her “girl child” had purchased her such an extravagant gift (computers still are a fairly hefty investment, though no where near as expensive or rare as they used to be in the Caribbean), what brought me joy was the fact that daily we could MSN chat with each other. In fact, e-based communication (then limited to email and Messenger chatting), replaced our need for expensive phone conversations. The computer brought us closer together, even though in reality we still lived miles apart and were more than disparate in age.

Fast forward 6 months and she got her first personal “cell phone”. Well yes! My mom and I exchanged text messages. And while the phones looked different than they do today and we were (sadly) impressed by the monochromatic screens, what I remember was not the technology, but indeed the emotion a simple text message could endure. I still remember her first LOL! Hell, I remember the first time a suitor sent me a 143 BEEP! But, beepers were SO 1990s…we’re like…NOT going there!

Somewhere following my return to the Caribbean in 2004, I discovered the internet’s ability to build bridges and heal relationships where once before that would have seemed impossible. Friends and family explored long distance “relationships” aided by e-chat, video chat, text messages and abetted by fare alerts from travel sites. Somewhere in the later half of the decade gone by, I discovered how technology brought people together in ways that could not be facilitated even 5 years before. Group trip planning, video tours of European sites and yes…SKYPE – that programme that saved me from near tragedy following a stoled passport in Europe just under a year ago.

So, while we could laugh at how digital cameras went from rare to norm and computers/ cell phones became part of our self identities (Iphone or Berry? PC or Mac?), what is possible a better communication question is how many relationships in this new, digitally supported life, do we owe to technology? Indeed, as we look back tonight, glasses in hand and 12 grapes poised to be popped into anticipated lips, I urge you to celebrate, not the THINGS of the decade gone by – but the people this decade, grounded into techonology, brought into our lifes.

Here’s to people remembered! Cheers and Happy New Year!

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One Response to “Things or People Remembered?”

  1. Mark Lyndersay Says:

    Interesting threading of your life as demarcated by the touchstones of technology. I may steal the notion for a BitDepth one of these days.
    And you now have a Macbook Air! 13 inch or 11 inch? I looked at the wee one a couple of weeks ago and had a sharp pang of tech lust.

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