Faith & Family - Cullman, Alabama Spring 2020 - Page 22

TECHNOLOGY can bring families closer By Jeff Edwards N early every day, my mother’s cellphone makes a familiar chime. It’s the chime of a FaceTime call, and everyone knows who is calling. It’s her 10-month-old granddaughter Margaret, calling to talk with her grandmother. Well, actually, it’s my sister Laura calling, but Margaret is the start of the video call. Laura and her husband Lee call nearly every day so my parents — and the rest of the family — can visit with little Margaret through the wonders of technology. My parents have mostly seen Margaret grow up through the phone screen. Because Laura and Lee live in Mobile, Margaret doesn’t get to come visit very often. In fact, she has only made the trip to North Alabama twice since she was born last summer. My parents have been able to make it to Mobile occasionally to see “the baby,” as Margaret is mostly called, but me, my wife Jennifer and our three daughters have only seen Margaret through the phone and the two times she came to visit. We’ve gotten to see the result of her first haircut, watch her as she 22 Faith & Family | April 2020 started to crawl and watch her again as she started learning to walk. We also marveled at the astounding number of teeth she is sprouting. She’s up to five now. Think back to when your children were born. If you lived far away from your parents, you would have to make that road trip each year to visit or have a family reunion just so they could see how much their grandchildren have grown in a year. Now, we can see that on a daily basis, thanks to technology. Margaret’s daily FaceTime calls are just one example of how technology is helping to bring families closer together even if they are living far apart. Another example I have seen recently is seniors in nursing homes being able to visit with family members through FaceTime or the Zoom video conference app. The Zoom app allows multiple people to be on the conference at one time, so you could basically have a family reunion through a screen. No, it’s not quite like the real thing, but there is just something about seeing