I remember riding Spaceship Earth at EPCOT when I was 12 – you know, the ride in the giant golf ball? There was a scene about how we would communicate in the future that made me slightly uncomfortable. People were sitting in front of giant TV screens talking to each other. I didn’t like this scene because my overactive imagination feared that in the future, we would be locked inside our houses, only communicating through TVs. We would never leave our houses and probably take pills instead of eating real food. Yikes.
What made me think about this was that this scene has become a reality (minus the locked inside houses thing). Last night, my 16 month old son got to see and talk with his grandparents that live 4 hours away via Skype. It was awesome!
My son was showing off the new nativity set St. Nick brought, slapping high fives, and even giving out kisses to his grandma, all through the Internet. It reminded me of my twelve-year-old self, fearing the future of communication. Almost 18 years later, I’m discovering that there is nothing to fear. Human contact will never go away, but the Internet is allowing the world to shrink. And I, for one, think it’s cool.