Staying in touch

What does one write about when activity is currently so limited? I hope you’ll forgive me for yesterday’s lazy, repeated post.

Many of you will identify when I say that one of the most difficult parts of the current situation is not seeing family members. I’m missing my children and their families but how grateful I am that there are so many ways to stay in touch with each other.

PhoneToday I can make a phone call – mobile or landline (we still have one of those, though rarely used) – but I think many have done away with the old fashioned telephone. I can send messages via text, Whatsapp, Messenger, private message via Facebook or email, and I can video call via Facetime, Whatsapp video or Skype. Photographs and videos can be sent and received between family and friends. I can join others in my Slimming World group for our weekly meeting via a group video-chat using an app called Zoom which hosts a meeting for up to 25 people, and stay in touch with my gym friends via our Whatsapp group chat.  I don’t use Instagram myself, but I know it’s also a popular way to communicate. And, of course, we have blogging!

I never cease to be amazed by how things have changed; it’s not really so many years ago (and I think most of you who read my blog are of an age to remember those days) that very few of these channels of communication would have been open to us. Staying in touch was limited to an occasional phone call (because it was so expensive – I can still picture my dad, frowning slightly and tapping his watch if my call was too long – very frustrating once boyfriends were on the scene!), or a letter. My mother and grandmother used to exchange regular letters and it’s a great shame that so few handwritten ones are sent today.

Imagine enduring such limited opportunities to connect nowadays. During war-time in particular, the lack of contact,  to reassure oneself that all was well must have been so worrying. There’s little to feel good about at the moment, but aren’t we lucky to have so many ways to connect with one another?

 

16 comments

  1. It is wonderful to have so many ways of keeping in touch these days, although having just ended (yet) another chat on WhatsApp, I admit to having left my phone in a different room, just for a little while. X

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  2. Staying connected is definitely one of the positive aspects of technology. \My youngest son (last year at Manchester University) has had to return home as the Uni has closed. He was working on his dissertation and preparing for final exams. As he’s studying aerospace engineering, there was a practical element as well. Although it has been very disruptive for him, I’m glad to have my (23 yr old) baby back home!!!

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    • I sympathise with your son and totally understand that you are glad to have him home where you can keep an eye on him! My eldest is currently a studying for a post-grad Diploma and was due on placement next month. It’s been deferred until September.

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      • Trying times for our children, whatever their age! My eldest started a new job last Mon. Luckily it’s in cyber security (but no training as it was due to be in California and Ireland, no shadowing etc) so a lot can be carried out online. As long as they’re safe and well…

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  3. Yes, being a bit of an introvert (and also I’ve been in practice for it being ill inJanuary) I’m not too bothered by the lockdown apart from, like you, hugely missing seeing members of my family and especially my grandson who I’ve seen once a week ever since he was born and he’s almost 14 now. I so miss the cuddles! And yes, the ways we can connect are so many – we’re doing weekly FaceTime calls, which we all look forward to immensely. Our Pilates teacher has set up classes via Zoom and it’s working very well. But not everyone is connected through the modern methods so a phone call is incredibly important, and that is so much easier than back when we had the ‘trunk’ calls and the pips!

    WordPress.com / Gravatar.com credentials can be used.

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    • Hello Penny, nice to see you back! I do hope that you’re very much better by now. Oh yes, the cuddles are much missed! I’m quite impressed by Zoom – and the fact that it’s free too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, being a bit of an introvert (and also I’ve been in practice for it being ill inJanuary and not going out) I’m not too bothered by the lockdown apart from, like you, hugely missing seeing members of my family and especially my grandson who I’ve seen once a week ever since he was born and he’s almost 14 now. I so miss the cuddles! And yes, the ways we can connect are so many – we’re doing weekly FaceTime calls, which we all look forward to immensely. Our Pilates teacher has set up classes via Zoom and it’s working very well. But not everyone is connected through the modern methods so a phone call is incredibly important, and that is so much easier than back when we had the ‘trunk’ calls and the pips!

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  5. I receive a facetime phone call from one of my daughters everyday at the moment, plus heaps of videos and photos? Why? Well, I’m sure she’s actually making sure I’m okay, and also my new grand-daughter whom I’ve only held a couple of times. It’s so I can get to “know” her. For which I am very grateful

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    • I’m so glad that your daughters are making sure that you’re okay. It’s so lovely that you can get to know your granddaughter in this way – and she gets to know you too of course, I recall a friend saying that her granddaughter said when very young, ‘my nonna lives in a ‘puter” (To that friend – If you are reading and recognise this apologies if I’ve got it wrong, but I’m sure the gist of it’s correct).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My family moved to Canada back in the 1960s. Phone calls to the UK had to be booked in advance and were hugely expensive, so saved for Christmas and disasters.

    Air Mail was slow and parcels had a nasty habit of being lost (aka stolen)

    I was talking with my oldest friend whose family migrated at roughly the same time. Much was lost, after a few years we were lucky to get birthday cards from our Grannies, Aunties just never bothered. We never knew what it was like to have multiple Easter Eggs from extended family, or the things that our school friends had and took for granted.

    I’m not feeling sorry for myself but today’s migrants have much different world and experience than those of us who were part of the 1960 exodus from the UK

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    • The world has changed in so many ways; possibly more for our generation than for any before. In many ways it has improved beyond belief, but much else has been lost along the way. Thank you for a glimpse into what life was like for an emigrant back in the 60s. If you’d enjoy writing more about how it was for you and your family, I’d love you to do a guest-post on thisissixty. Have a think about it and if you’re interested, send me a further message with your email address (obviously not for publication!) If you’re thinking ‘what a cheek’ then my apologies, and no offence taken!

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  7. It really is a blessing that we have so many wonderful ways of keeping in touch, today. Forty plus years ago, when I first moved halfway around the world to come to this country while my mother stayed in Hong Kong where she was teaching, we would write weekly letters to keep in touch. International phone calls were too costly except in a dire emergency. These days, my daughter lives 400 miles away and we communicate several times a day, by phone, text, and daily video chats! I think it is wonderful that we are able to do so.

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    • It certainly is, Bless. Your daughter also flies home regularly, I believe. That wouldn’t have been possible either all those years ago…..prohibitively expensive!

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  8. I can remember the days when a phone call was for just three minutes and then the “pips” went and we rang off. I expect we could’ve talked for longer, but that was the cheapest ‘trunk’ call you could make. When my parents and I moved from Lancashire to Devon there would be a weekly phone call to my grandfather and uncle on a Sunday evening and I begged to be allowed to speak to them, but I only had time to say “Hello” before Mum or Dad took the receiver from me, and then the “pips” went and the line went dead. But we looked forward to that weekly call so much. I wonder whether people really look forward as much to Face Time and so forth today?
    Margaret P

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’d forgotten about pips! A regular call from my mother when she was talking to someone and wanted me to say goodbye would be, “Quick, the pips are going”. Yes, it was an expensive exercise to make a phone call. I doubt there is the same excitement today – we are so used to everything being readily available. Strawberries are now readily available all year long, but as a child there was nothing quite like the excitement of fresh English strawberries in the summer, for want of a better analogy!

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