Friday, June 8, 2012

The Skype thing

Years ago when my twins were three years old and we had just moved to Belgium, Skype became a very regular feature in our lives. We received up to three calls a day; from my mum, my sister or other friends and family. Skyping on a laptop meant we could show people our house, move around and share the conversation with the twins who would take the laptop and have 'private' chats with my mum.

Today, 6 years after our move and a few months after becoming permanent, Skype has become a window into my sister and brother in law's house which we keep on, sometimes, all evening. We chat, we eat, we do our own thing and Skype remains on. The kids will show their aunt their drawings and school work. I will even engage in a separate conversation with my brother in law on the same screen while my wife talks to my sister. And it feels completely natural.

I recall one time when my brother in law was talking to the twins and we let them walk off with the laptop, and my brother in law. Around 30 minutes had passed before I heard his cries of help.

"Someone come and get me! I don't want to watch Ben 10!!!"

The boys had pointed the screen and camera of the laptop towards the TV and were enjoying a 'shared' moment of TV with their uncle.The twins were loving it and all my brother in law could see was Ben 10.

This same brother in law sent me this link yesterday. It is art, but art which will, I am sure, inspire mainstream reality.

And as for shared moments, they are not really about sharing. They are about being in the same place. You can sit at the breakfast table enjoying you own individual newspapers without any discussion and still be enjoying a fantastic shared occasion.


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