My wife, Lisa, has two siblings – a brother and a sister. Both are the type of people that decide what they want to do and go for it. It’s a great personality trait, for sure, but has left this generation of their family pretty spread out.
Lisa’s sister, Anna, chose to pursue a political science career and moved to Washington, DC. She’s since joined the Department of Defense and has lived in several places in the Northeast. Currently she lives in Richmond, VA.
Lisa’s brother, Bobby, is married. He and his wife, Katie, work for a missions group out of Alabama called COT, but they live and serve in Thailand. Yep, halfway across the world. They’ve lived there for over a year and will be having a baby in November, so it’s hard to not have them around. (Side note: They have a great site that is getting ready for a relaunch. Check it out: the-hamletts.com)
It’s a Small World After All
The amazing part of it all is that we are able to stay almost as close to them – even across the world – as we would be able to if they were right here in the same town. Here is a quick glimpse of what our conversations look like these days:
Hamlett/Burnette ooVoo call. Anna’s screen has been blurred to protect from pre-bedtime embarrassment.
The conversation above, a three-way video conference utilizing ooVoo, is just one of the many ways we are all able to keep in touch with each other. Here are several more ways that we keep in touch with our long distance family online:
- Computer / iPad / iPhone / iPod Touch
- AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
- Blog posts/comments
- Flickr photos
- iOS Devices (iPad / iPhone / iPod Touch)
- iMessage (instant messenger/text messages)
- personal letters w/ photos
- monthly newsletters
Needless to say, you get the idea. Just 10-15 years ago, it would have been difficult, at best, to communicate with family members in Thailand. And the fact that we – Anna included – can all chat together about our lives to easily is beyond incredible!
The bottom line is this: there’s no excuse to stay close to your friends and family, no matter how far away they physically are. We are so fortunate to be able to have more connected devices and computers than ever.
I want to know how you’re utilizing social media and video chat to stay close to your friends and family. Leave a comment below describing how far away your family/friends are and how you keep in touch! Furthest distance or best story might even win a little something! I’ll announce the winner on August 1st.