I have been corresponding with some of my Mom and my Grandmother’s friends in the USA. The internet makes it easier for both parties since everything is almost at a click of a button. Also, my Grandmother (lola) now has a hard time writing snail mail to her friends and “adopted” children. I guess it’s brought about my rheumatism or arthritis.
Her friends told me to just ask what she wants to say and in turn, I type and email it to them. When they respond back, I just print it out and let my Grandmother read it. Convenient, right? Nope, it’s not working for them. Whenever I ask my Grandmother what she wants to say in reply to their emails, she couldn’t think of any. She says it’s just not the same as writing.
A couple of months back, her friends requested that we do a video call. They wanted to see my Grandmother. I finally got a chance to set it up yesterday. Hubby brought his lappy with us, and the Globe Tattoo HSDPA Internet USB.
It didn’t work. Skype would only connect for a maximum of a minute and a half. Yahoo was even worse. Plus, this was a one way video call. We forgot to bring our camera. I can’t even imagine how worse it would get if both sides were streaming videos.
So as a last resort, because they really wanted to see my Grandmother, we went to my Grandmother’s neighbor. She also had children overseas and connect with them through video conferencing. They only used Yahoo Messenger, which was fine, but when they had it set up, I noticed that they were using a prepaid dial up card.
Another problem. First it was too costly for her neighbor since it’s prepaid. Second, for sure there would be a minimum of 1-minute lag because the connection speed was just about 30k. Third, with umm… senior citizens on both ends, it was extra difficult to manage the delay. They kept repeating their questions and statements over and over.
They did manage to see my Grandmother for maybe 1 minute when they turned off their streaming. But as for making conversation, it was impossible. We just set up another schedule next week. Hubby would pick up my Grandmother and use our connection here in the house. Hubby uses Skype often for his meetings and I don’t see much delay so I hope they finally get to “talk” and “see” each other.
I didn’t think it would be that hard. But at least I learned a lot from this experience. My first shot at video calling may have been a failure, but it was a fun experience. It also made me realize how we’ve come a long way. How everything changes in an instant. From dial up, to cabled internet, to wifi, to HSDPA. I wonder what technology my daughter will be using 10 years from now?