First, a little something for your ear. Dedicated to all my Indie Brother’s and Sisters.
Last Friday night I had a chat with my brother. It turned into a two hour chat. He was somewhere north of Lake Macquarie, about three and half hours north of Sydney on a beach. He’d rented a house there for the weekend. They had a long holiday down under. So he bailed early on Friday evening. I was at home, writing and blogging. And we chatted, about everything, for about two hours.
So here’s the thing. How much did that two hour conversation cost? Nothing. That’s how much. Skype with video was used. So OK I pay for the bandwidth, but if I slice my monthly fee into hourly segments it ends up the same as nearly nothing. Back in 1989 when I first came to live in Thailand. That same chat cost me US$3-00 per minute or US$360-00. The only other alternatives to communicate were fax, telex or snail mail. A short while later we had email via UUNET and the Eudora email client – woo hoo – blindingly fast with a 12 hour turnaround. We collected the UUNET packets in bulk twice a day.
To me that change in our ability to communicate with each other is magical. Something to be cherished, protected and appreciated.
In twenty-one years the changes in technology allow me to communicate, nearly free, with my family, practically wherever I am in the world. I travel quite a bit, mostly around Asia, my first requirement for a hotel – do you have wi-fi? Most still insist on you plugging a cable in, but most now don’t charge for it (that applies only if you have “Club” status). I know this isn’t news or even new, but I think it is worthwhile to sometimes stop and look back.
We’ve come a long way in a short time.