Do you remember that first night you spent alone in a new city when you moved away from home to attend university or to join your first big job? The world may be getting smaller but the distances from those closest to us are always difficult to bridge. We’ve all felt the aching tug of homesickness at some point (though we may never admit it out loud!). Fortunately, we live in an age of lightning-fast internet, affordable connectivity and amazing technology. We also have it easier than earlier generations who had to rely on snail mail and patchy landline connections, and often went days or even weeks without being able to communicate with their loved ones.
Technology that brings us closer
While there are those who will swear that technology is tearing away at human connections, the truth is it has played a significant role in shrinking our world and opened up more avenues for communication. For those who say that life is what happens when we are looking at our screens, we have a counterpoint that shows how technology has made it possible to stay in touch and bring a sense of continuity to relationships that make life worth living.
Of course, there is no denying that actual face-to-face interaction has no substitute. But when that’s not an option, technology delivers the next best thing, and creates strong connections that keep us afloat.
Technology is especially handy around festivals, birthdays, and on certain days when a reassuring voice over the phone is just not enough. Sometimes, nothing beats the comfort of seeing a loved one’s face when they speak to you. Or the thrill of seeing a doodle or a note in the familiar hand of a loved one.
Here are a few times when we found our laptop screens and internet connections made us feel right at home:
The ties that endure: All through your school life, you’ve been waiting for the day you head out into the world on your own as a college student. But doubts and fears are also a part of growing up and becoming independent. At times like these, when Dad sends you his favourite inspirational quote in his own writing, that is all the encouragement you need to bounce back and journey on with renewed vigour.
Drawing on nostalgia: You are on your way to making it big as an artist. But you still value the first ‘exhibition’: the fridge at your parents’ house that displays drawings you’ve made since you learnt how to squiggle on paper. You can still doodle silly things for your parents whenever you feel like it, and they can print them out and display them with pride.
Food for your soul: Never mind those tantalising, slow-motion, yummy food videos. There are some days when all you want is the food your mother made. A simple Skype call, with Ma actually supervising how much salt you are putting into the daal via the screen can be a lifesaver. What’s more? You can directly take notes on the screen itself so that the precious recipes and handy tips are preserved for posterity, and don’t get lost in the dust of crumbling pages.
Watch them put a ring on it: Your best friend is getting engaged and you find out that you have to travel out of town for a crucial business meeting. Why not get your friends to live stream the ceremony for you and others who couldn’t make it? Find a quiet corner, slap on a set of headphones, and soak in the celebration and festivities of your friend’s special day. You can always send across emoticons to reiterate how much you miss being there.
Birthdays made better: When you need to travel for work on your child’s birthday and can’t avoid it, bring the party to your hotel room. Make a video call and be the first person to sing and wish your child as they ring in their special day. Promises for presents and goodies that are on their way can also be made. And you can even send a heartfelt handmade card on the screen itself.
The story continues: That very first night after a long summer spent at the grandparents’ house can be complicated, with your little one refusing to sleep without listening to that particular bedtime story from grandma. The problem is, grandma lives on the other side of the world. Then again, that’s hardly an issue when grandma appears on your laptop screen and tells the story just the way it should be told, with the right expressions. And a handwritten thank-you note for grandma from Mommy and Daddy is just the thing to make the experience even better.
Festivities in a foreign land: Diwali just isn’t the same without your sibling who’s now snowbound in a foreign land. There’s no reason why he or she should miss out watching the colours and the fireworks. The only thing missing will be all that home-made mithai.
HP’s new range of convertible notebooks, the Pavillion x360 and Spectre x360, are equipped with Inking technology and come with the HP Active Pen which enables users to draw, highlight and write directly on the screen. In addition to these features that enhance the personal experience, the crystal-clear displays and chic exteriors, lightning- fast processors, ample RAM and other hallmark features of HP laptops will ensure that you never miss a smile, a memorable event or just a glimpse into all the things that you love most about home.