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A video conference and two big smiles

We, the web2.0 generation, have to grateful for how the Internet has evolved to provide us with the various means of communications.

We communicate via our blogs, our Facebook social network, via Twitter, via IM etc. We know how to use these tools to reach out to the world. These tools cost us almost nothing.

But for the earlier generations, such web2.0 tools of communication sounds very foreign to them. Their known means of communications is only via the telephone phone and pay much for overseas IDD calls.

Over these Lunar New Year, an incident at my in-laws place in Kuala Lumpur highlighted how we have taken for new communications tools for granted.

One of my in-laws have a son, his wife and their child, living in Australia, while she lives in Malaysia . Her only means of communication with them is via phone and expensive IDD calls.

For the last few months, she has heard of stories from other relatives who have visited her son in Australia have told her that her son has been losing weight. Worried, this Aunty-in-law have been trying to get the latest photo or video of her son and family in Australia.

She knew that they could communicate via the Internet and see a video of her son at the same time, but she never knew how.

So recently at my in-law’s place, I was asked to speak to her son on the phone via IDD and check what IM client her son was using. However, I wasn’t surprised it was Skype.

As my in-laws recently bought a LCD TV, I decided to hook up the lap top to use that LCD TV screen as the monitor. This enabled the whole family to see the video conference in place.

The whole video conference via Skype lasted a whole 30 minutes. However, during this time, you could see the smile on both sides. One being able to see family and relatives in one room in KL while a mother saw her son’s face for the first time in months.

After the call, my Aunty-in-law offered to pay me for use of Skype video conference. I explained to her its free and she was even more surprised.

This is how VoIP has changed my auntie’s day for the Lunar New Year.

How has new technology changed your life or someone you know had a changed as a result of technology?

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