In 1981 AT&T ripped at our heart strings with the slogan “Reach out and touch someone”.
You’re away at college when you see this tear jerking long distance telephone commercial on TV. Now you know, without a shadow of a doubt, how much your momma misses you. Call her!
Your sweet old Grandma doesn’t have much time left on this earth; she wants to hear your voice. Won’t you at least talk to her today?
When I hear the first few notes of this gut wrenching jingle, I instantly yearn for the yummy smells of home. My eyes well-up, I need to talk to my daddy.
Oh for crying out loud, this is one powerful commercial, my father lives next door!
Now, fast forward twenty seven years to our current lifestyle.
I'm living a dream as I walk barefoot on sugar white sands. The warm emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico gently tickle my perfectly painted toe nails.
However, my life in paradise does not keep me from popping in on my daughter, Keelyn, for a quick virtual chat. My computer’s web cam hooks up with my daughters Mac in Seattle, which is three thousand miles away. Yet, we instantly create a video/audio connection. How virtually cool is that?
This is how the ‘Baby Boomer’ parents and generation ‘X’ children communicate in 2008.
Today my seven month old grandbaby, Trista, is flapping her arms like a bird, wiggling on her momma’s lap, happily squawking showing me glimpses of her new front teeth.
I watch Charlie, my five year old grandson, bounce into the room looking straight at me on the computer screen. (The computer grandma’s virtual visit is old-hat to him.) Charlie’s big brown eyes twinkle as he smirks and says, “Gran-maw, can I have some candy?”
Thrilled to be noticed, I quickly answer, “Yes you can.” Charlie takes off on a dead run shouting back towards me, “Gran-maw you’re da best.”
My daughter instantly spews out an irritated “Mom!”
Somehow I’m not getting that warm fuzzy feeling of …‘Reach out and touch someone’.
This virtual reality ‘thang’ just got tricky. Oops, mybad!
Pam Vanden Bos, Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine Intern