I realize society often gives technology a bad rap. Researchers are constantly questioning whether our increase in technology is a beneficial or degrading factor for communication. The internet is filled with jokes, videos, and comments about how people are becoming more absorbed in what's in a screen than what's going on behind the less than one inch thick layer of plastics, glass, and wires. Truth be told; walk into almost any building and anyone is bound to find a group of people focused more on a screen than on holding a face to face conversation with the person next to them. However, there is one part of technology that deserves a good rap. FaceTime, you deserve a lot of praise. While social media applications and websites such as FaceTime and Twitter seem to pull us away from current situations and people near us; you have allowed people to not only speak to each other from far away distances, but you have allowed people to see each other again.
The people who matter the most to me currently live not across a street, road, town, or state from me. They don't even live across the country from me. They live approximately 4,500 miles away in a small country called Belgium. Phone calls whenever I go back to my home in the United States are always a great comfort; but it's not the same as actually getting to see my extended family. I can't see their expressions or how their faces look as they laugh. I can't see what someone's new hair cut looks like; I just have to close my eyes and visualize it. FaceTime changed that for me. It allowed me to see just how wide my grandma can smile; or how much she can scowl when something isn't exactly right. I can see just how my grandad looks as he ponders on another history or science question; filled with an unmistakable gleam in his eye that reflects a need for understanding and a desire to learn more. While I'm still not able to give them a hug or smell soup simmering in the corner of the kitchen while freshly brewed coffee slowly drizzles it's way down into a coffee mug, I can see these things. And that's already more than what I previously had.
People don't realize how much that means that I'm able to connect with my family back where I call "home" on a level beyond letters and traditional phone calls. It's made living 4,500 miles away a little bit more bearable. So while people are out giving technology a bad rap; let's remember one thing. Just because technology seems to be pulling a lot of people away; if used correctly it can bring families and friends, if not fully, partially back together.
A not so homesick - homesick European.