This morning, I started thinking about some of our friends back in the states. Why this morning more than any other morning? I don’t know. But the truth is, we think about our family and friends back in Chicago (and all over the states) all the time. Not because we sit around missing them terribly and wondering what has become of their lives. The opposite. To some extent, because of technology, we still feel involved in their lives on a day to day basis.
Years ago, when people would make Aliyah (or move anywhere else in the world for that matter), while an exciting event, they also became extremely disconnected from the people they left behind.
Thanks to modern day technology, we get to keep tabs on whats going on in the lives of lots of our friends, share ours with them. And its REALLY easy to get in touch.
Call Me… Maybe? (like I am sitting right next to you)
The cellphone plans we have here are dirt cheap and allow free calls to the US. Awesome. But that is only one way. How could people call us?
Well, right before we left America, we transferred our US cellphone numbers to Google Voice. The plan was, in order for our friends and family to call us easily, we would have this little device called the Obi100 hooked up to our Google Voice creating a land line. Shortly after we moved here, Golan, which is our service provider, was handing out free oversees numbers that people could call and would ring on our cells.
Since we had our numbers on Google Voice, we just forwarded our Google Voice numbers to that free US number Golan gave us and magic, our family and friends can call the same numbers we had in the US and it will ring all the way over here in Israel.
Games On the Phone Actually Have Value
Ariella enjoys this much more than I do, but she keeps in contact with people by playing games with them like words with friends. I don’t play games as much but when I do I share it with people on Facebook and make them hate me for getting them addicted to Flappy Bird (sorry!! )
Sharing Our Life on Facebook and Following Yours
Years ago, when people moved across the ocean, because of the time zone differences, it was just hard to see what was going on over on the other side. Well, I know how big my friends kids are getting, and when something exciting happens in their lives because these things show up in my news feeds. Sometimes we miss things, sure, but it is extremely easy for us to check up and see whats going on.
We can also share our lives and whats going on with us. I know people probably think I share waaaaay too much (I can’t believe I have become that stereotype, but it’s ok, I can handle it). You should know before you pass judgment though, that we do it for you. We share so you know whats going on with us and we love when you do the same. We want to see how big your kids are getting, and we want to know when you are having a tough day so we can send you words of encouragement.
We still want to be part of your lives.
Video Conferencing and Google+ Hangouts
Facebook only goes so far. So does phone. I am a big fan of video chats and try to use it as much as I can. Forget about family for a second (because we skype with them multiple times a week), but friends who we would only see on a vacation back to the states or if they come here we get to see. It makes all the distance just a little closer.
Embrace Sharing and Keep in Touch
So I guess what I am saying is, while people have problems with what technology means as far as giving up some privacy (I have something coming on this soon), honestly, I say bring it! The pros for us far out weigh the cons and I welcome these advancements which make keeping in touch that much easier.