Over the weekend, my 12-year-old daughter and her friends were going somewhere. I was going to drive everyone home, so one of the other parents would take them there. Twenty-four hours before the event, I asked my daughter a couple times about who is going and who is driving them there. Each time I got the shoulder shrug. She said, “I sent them a text, but I haven’t heard back.”

Then I came up with this great idea! Why not call them? My daughter reluctantly called two of the girls. (Seems one never has her phone on.) She got their voicemail and again shrugged her shoulders at me. How about call the house? You are bound to run into a parent that way. Maybe they can direct you to their child. Of course, she waited another few hours, thinking they would get back to her. Finally, after I asked her again what was going on, she called the house and got the answers we were waiting for.

It is not as if these girls are lacking in communication opportunities. Most of my daughter’s friends have cell phones and text packages. They all have an email account. They use Skype. Just recently I was asked by my daughter if she could have a Oovoo account. Showing my limited knowledge of technology, I asked what Oovoo was. She said that it is another video-conferencing and messaging software, just like Skype, with some minor differences. For my daughter, the only difference is which one her friends are using.

I have a Skype account, too, which I almost never use. To me, it is like a video phone from the Jetsons. Do I really want people to see me while I am on the phone? I sort of enjoy the fact that I can’t be seen. Does the caller need to know that I haven’t showered and that I am still in pajamas at 2:00 in the afternoon? (Thankfully, this is not a video blog, since I write my blogs first thing in the morning! Scary stuff!) Another thing I don’t like about Skype is that you are stuck sitting in front of your computer. Doesn’t that go against all our advances in phone technology? We were given freedom to walk around with the invention of cordless and mobile phones.

On Sunday, my daughter was Skyping with my parents. She was talking in the living room and I could hear their conversation as I walked through the house. I was cleaning and putting things away. As I walked by the living room, I poked my head in front of the computer and said hi. After walking back and forth a few more times and yelling my two cents from across the room, I felt like I had to sit down and talk to them. So there I was in my cleaning clothes with my hair in a pony tail and no makeup on. I stopped cleaning and concentrated on the conversation.

Wait! Maybe Skype is not an advancement, but instead, going back to the basics. They are forcing people to take a moment from their busy lives, no matter what they look like, and have a face to face conversation. Brilliant!

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