I’m old enough to have had long-distance, international relationships in the age of internet cafes, letter-writing (and letter-waiting), and near-constant refilling of calling cards. But I’m young enough, too, to recognize that the internet is the reason that I’m still in somewhat constant contact with a group of girls from high school; that we owe our post-high school relationship, now 16 years old, to email.
Then along came Skype. I downloaded Skype onto my iPhone three years ago while sitting at Elephant & Castle’s outdoor patio the day before Sam left for Kazakhstan (the first time). I was prepared for Skype to make me feel intimidated and annoyed—this is how most technology makes me feel. But instead, it caused me to develop a close, loving relationship with my phone, which, for ten weeks that summer, was “my husband.”
The foreign service has left me even more indebted to the miracle that is THE INTERNET. I realize this now after spending just a few days with two close girlfriends (both pictured above) with whom I’ve had weekly Skype dates during the past two years. Obviously nothing can compete with spending actual, real-life time with the people you love, but holy shit, Skype! You come in a very close second.
Being together now, our time apart feels almost negligible—we have close, committed relationships and Skype to thank for this. While I can’t say that it feels like I never left America, I can say that it feels like I never left them.