I am not what one would consider a techno-savvy, gotta have the latest electronic gadget person by any means. I’m a social computer user meaning I use FB, blog, email, have more photos than I count on my laptop, and I can order anything for anyone on-line. But being halfway around the world would be traumatic without my:
iPhone, iPad, laptop, and my favorite – the Kindle.
Anders flew through Hong Kong on his way here in July and bought (2) iPhones for us because they are unblocked. This means that we can do anything we want on them without running into government firewalls. I’m an iPhone newbie and I haven’t even begun to tap the potential that little thing has to offer. I need my kids to teach me. I remember sitting on a ferry in Greece when Andrew taught me how to text! Kids of this generation have an innate sense when it comes to this stuff. How did they get that? It can’t be genetic, YET. I remember taking a typing class, on a real live typewriter!, in high school because my dad said I would always need the skill. I’m sure he never saw the skill being used on a keyboard but thanks Dad for making me take that class. You were right 😉 I do use it every day of my life and still I can’t type without making mistakes.
This “stuff” has all been very useful in light of the 2 natural disasters that hit the east coast last week. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. There are telephones but that would have been unreliable and EXPENSIVE.
For my more technologically challenged readers: What’s App enables other iPhone owners to text for free anywhere in the world and Face Dial or Face Time is free video chatting for Apple equipment. I was never an Apple person but I will admit that they have it going on.
With the iPhone I was able to Face Dial Kiersten to make sure they and their house were still standing after the earthquake. The epi-center was only 30 miles from their house. The morning after Irene blew through NYC Andrew sent me a What’s App message and told me that while he was prepared for rolling blackouts the only thing he had was a few leaves pressed up against his window. Instant assurance, that’s what it provides and for free.
The Face Dial feature has allowed Kiersten and Andrew to see our skyline view at night. They were impressed and it served it’s purpose: it wetted their appetite to get here as soon as possible.
The time difference adds a layer of difficulty but so far it hasn’t been so bad. Side note: the 12 hour time difference means that you don’t have to adjust your watch when flying. BONUS.
Then there’s Skype. I think most people know about Skype. My kids used it in Switzerland but I never did until we moved here. This is how we communicate with Anders’ parents. Would someone please go to my dad’s house and get him set up with Skype? Again, it’s free and we can see live faces. It means so much more when you can actually see the other person. The distance doesn’t seem nearly as bad. I don’t even pretend to understand how it’s done nor do I need to, I’m just thankful it’s possible.
Loved ones in the States would never receive a gift from us over the next 3 years if I didn’t have a laptop. I highly doubt that I will send anything other than an occasional letter through China Post. I have been told it’s highly unreliable and if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t send it. We did receive a package and Ben told Anders to open it at the Post before he left to make sure it was not damaged. He said to always do that but I know that Ben will always be accompanying me inside so I don’t have to remember that tidbit. On-line ordering is so helpful when living abroad. I just have to remember to order gifts in advance, not the day of. My dad is happy because it means he’ll still be able to get his Graeter’s ice cream for Christmas, BD, and Father’s Day!
Then there is my all-time favorite piece of technology, the Kindle. If I could I would have the word light up, a spotlight on it, and it would be flashing. I would be lost without it. There is a large book store here that has English books but I have yet to go. My understanding is that the selection is limited (no Bible buying here) and expensive. Ah, but I don’t need to. I can read on my Kindle, laptop, iPad, or iPhone. Who knew? That also means that I can read any trashy book I want because nobody know what’s on my Kindle. Being in a book club is easier as well. In the States I usually got my club selections at the library but while there are libraries here, they’re not filled to the rafters with English books. I can be on vacation anywhere in the world, download what I want, and off I am to the beach with my umbrella drink in one hand and Kindle in the other.
Technology does have its place in my life. This is coming from a person that was anti electronic gadgetry but I have seen the light.
4PM – 104 degrees (ugh)