Monday, June 29, 2009

Skyping Home

In the Sunday Times Magazine Peggy Orenstein has a piece about Skype and its various uses. Actually, it's yet another piece about communication technologies and their proliferation into every corner of our lives. With so many ways to communicate is there anyway to keep our boundaries? This is what Orenstein wonders when her parents ask her to set up Skype so they can "talk" to their granddaughter via the computer screen. My parents wanted to set up a video-camera-connection to read stories and what not to my kids from their home in Providence to ours in New York. I didn't hem and haw like Orenstein did about Skype. I just said no because for me the less time my kids spend in front of a screen -- computer, TV, whatever-- the better. In the end Orenstein's real question is not about how to maintain boundaries so much as how do we actually communicate with all the methods we have. It's a good question. When I figured out texting, my first thought was "Now here's ANOTHER way for me to feel badly about not getting calls." Every communication option isn't for everyone. Me, I'm old school. Blog not tweet, phone not skype. For someone else, it may be exactly the opposite. I hope if and when I meet that person who loves to Skype and Tween when we're online at the Farmers' Market or picking up stamps at the post office we'll strike up a really good conversation about it all. That would be really great.

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