“Mawidge is wot bwings us togeder tooday.” – Peter Cook, Clergyman, The Princess Bride
Memorable line from The Princes Bride, but what REALLY brings us together in this day and age is technology and social media!
I have lived in Florida all my life. One of my cousins has lived in North Carolina all her life. Although we saw each other a handful of times over the years growing up, we really knew nothing about each other and really had NO relationship to speak of. She was just “my cousin from NC”.
I can’t tell you what year it was, but I can tell you it was before Facebook and quite possibly before Myspace that this particular cousin came to Florida for a visit. On that visit, we had the opportunity, as young adults, to sit and chat and “get to know each other”. It was sort of strange and wonderful all at once. We decided we didn’t know nearly enough about each other and were going to start emailing. Enter the famous “getting to know you” email. You know the one: Answer the questions, forward it to X amount of people and include the person that sent it to you, with the hope they respond with their answers. The “chain mail” email thing.
I’ll spare you all the “in between” details, but what started off as a few “getting to know you” emails turned into one of the most cherished relationships I have in my life. Had it not been for, at the time, email, my cousin and I would probably still just be “those cousins from out of state”. Over the years, through first email, then texting, Myspace, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we have built an unbreakable bond and a cherished friendship. Sure, she is my cousin, but through technology and social media, she has become closer to me than a sister, by far my best friend and someone who’s presence in my life is invaluable. She may still be “my cousin from NC”, but now, because of Facebook and Instagram, I get to be apart of her life in ways I never would have imagined all those years ago. Through sharing pictures online, and interacting daily through social media, it allows us to have a relationship and presence in each others lives that wouldn’t be possible without technology.
It’s funny as I sit her typing this all the things that are coming to mind regarding how technology as impacted me in positive ways. I know that it is tough for older generations to grasp, but for the ones that do – wow! My grandmother may never learn to text. But at nearly 90, I figure I’ll cut her some slack on that. The fact that I now keep up with more of my family though because of texting and social media is amazing and wonderful (I often text with my aunt & uncle who are in their 60′s, my parents both have Facebook, and my 8 year old nephew has an Iphone and texts me all the time). I have a cousin who just moved to Haiti with Education Impact. I love that I can keep up with him, his family, their mission and adventures through their blog, Almost Missionaries, through Twitter (@moorofsean) and through Instagram.
And relating to my little blog, I am able to connect with others, from all over the US and abroad, sharing my love and passion for fitness with other like minded people, and learn from their passion and experience. I’ve built “real life friendships” through my online presence and had my life enriched my others in a way that would not be possible without technology.
It still sometimes blows my mind that, through technology, we can be present in someone else’s life even when we are worlds apart.
How about you? How does technology enrich your life? Or, give me the opposite view, if that is your stance. How do you think technology can or has been a negative in your life? I’d love to read your comments.