Last night, a very good friend of mine told me of a very unusual encounter she had whereby a person she knew a while back is completely offline. What that means is
- He does not own a PC
- He has no profiles set up anywhere on the WWW
- He doesn't own a smartphone or any other device that puts him online
- He does not use anyone else's pc/laptop/smartphone/whatever
- He does not steal wifi/use internet cafes
- He has never ever been online and
- Has no virtual footprint whatsoever.
Nowadays, I cannot imagine myself living without the internet. It enables me to have a relationship with people all over the world. Yes, letters can achieve the same effect - I still recall the days when I had penpals. However, it always felt like a monologue. There is no real-time interaction.
Having said that, I do occasionally send and receive postcards and letters and greeting cards and gifts from friends spread all over the world whom I got to know online and still talk to regularly via technological means.
My point is this: I owe Creature's existence to the internet.
The one invention I wish they'd create is teleportation devices. As a Trekkie, I grew up amazed by the infinite possibilities such a device could provide. From time to time, I look up information to see if there has been progress in the scientific fields that will bring us a step closer to having our own teleportation devices. One can hope!
At times like these, I wish - really, REALLY wish - that one could email themselves over from one place to the other. Most of the people I would want to be around are spread all over the place. They live anywhere but here. Thankfully there is still a handful of people on the rock that I enjoy being in their company. Still, it does not makeup for those who cannot be here.
If you, like me, find yourself in this kind of situation - get a webcam and make your international loved ones invest in one as well. That way, you can still spend time with them whenever possible. I have plans in place where a friend from as far away as New Zealand would like to read stories to Creature via Skype. Even when it comes to special occasions - Baby Showers, Baptism/Saining ceremonies - Xmas, New Year's, Birthdays - it makes it a tiny bit less sad not to be in physical proximity.