With more and more people taking long, extended breaks, enjoying working holidays abroad, and emigrating to warmer sunnier climates, staying in touch with friends and family has become an integral part of our 21st century lives. Thankfully, keeping in touch with our loved ones is so much easier than it was a couple of decades ago. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we can say hello at the touch of a button and hey presto, we’re instantly able to communicate with the people we’re missing.
Long gone are the days of putting pen to paper and writing a letter. In today’s global village, the only tools we need are a mobile phone or a computer. Text messaging has been a phenomenon since its invention, and even causes Repetitive Strain Injury in some serious text addicts. A simple Hello, I’m ok. message can instantly reassure loved ones that all is well. It’s relatively easy to buy a SIM card in the remotest of destinations, and in most cases after slotting it into your regular mobile, you’re ready to go.
Telephony has become much cheaper. With a special pre-fix number to dial, we can chat across the world for a fraction of the cost. Our home service providers have finally recognized the need to call abroad and offer special packages for much less than in the past.
The internet is now the gateway to staying connected with people far away. Turning your PC into a phone is a good way to reduce costs. With the likes of Skype and YM, all you need is a headset with microphone and you can enjoy a live chat with your missing loved ones – for free, if you’re both connected! If you miss sitting down over a cuppa, then invest in a web cam and you will be able to see each other while you’re chatting.
The world domination of social networking site such as Friendster and Facebook has been overwhelming. Originally started as a site for undergraduates of an American campus to stay in touch; it now boasts more than 100 million active users worldwide. With applications for us to be able to share photos, ideas and to chat live, these kinds of websites are an easy way to stay in touch with everyone, both home and away.
Otherwise, photo storing websites like Flickr and Fotopages are also a wonderful way to feel closer to family and friends. Uploading your digital photos and adding a comment to each one is today’s global village’s equivalent of balancing a photo album on your knee over a chocolate biscuit. Photos can even be downloaded onto a memory stick and plugged it into digital photo frames, so all your loved one’s photos can be enjoyed day after day. So now we no longer have to wait weeks for that precious, scribbled postcard or short note. Keeping up to date with what our loved ones are up to, is simply a mouse-click away.
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