Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Digital Era

About 20 years ago I moved from Netherlands to Indonesia. When I arrived in Indonesia we didn't have a phone in our house for a while. So to keep contact with friends in the Netherlands I did it by snail mail. To keep up to date and meet up with friends in Indonesia, I either talk to them directly at school or take a bag of coins and queued up at the local pay phone.

Then one day my dad brought this huge black thing - almost as big as a small wardrobe - which was a car phone (it was supposed to be a mobile phone but how can you be mobile when you have a small wardrobe on your back?). I could only use it from time to time as it was a) expensive to use and b) had a terrible connection.

About 15 years ago we got a landline installed at our home. I started calling up friends but to catch-up I still preferred doing it when we meet at school, and when we are suppose to meet up in the mall we just decide a time and place at least a day before and somehow everyone would be there. To communicate with friends in Netherlands I still used snail mail as international rates those days were frigging expensive.

Then we got a fax machine - which helped in communicating with friends in another country as I could write small and cramp everything on a small piece of paper and send it off for not that much.

Around 12 years ago I bought a modem and I got hooked up on the internet. I started chatting with my friends (we were IRC addicts) and keeping up-to date with that and e-mail. About the same time I got a mobile phone (a Mitsubishi!) and suddenly I was always contactable (although not everyone had a mobile phone at that time).

Fast forward to now. I still keep in contact with people all over the world, mostly via the internet and sms messages. On the web it's chatting, emails, this blog, or social network sites (friendster or facebook). I can't leave home without my mobile, at home I have a landline that I barely use and it's so easy calling up people all over the world (thanks to Skype).

About 20 years ago, if my close friends (who live in the same city) got engaged I would have found out about it when they tell it to me in my presence. Today I found out via facebook.

Congratulations you two!


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