Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Older Italians connected, but not online

Saturday, April 15
Ah, the wonders of technology. Even though we're not flying around in jet cars like George Jetson or traveling to other planets like James T. Kirk, the promise of easy communications has come true, making it so much easier to live abroad. It seems like just a few years ago that Sandy was an exchange student in Poland and we went months at a time with little contact. Yesterday I filed my taxes online and transferred money from one bank account to the other to cover the payment. We just talked face-to-face with Randy in Georgia (the former Soviet state, not the one next to Alabama) and then Sandy in Washington via Skype. I can get my phone messages from my Gig Harbor house and use my computer to call clients to line up appointments for my summer asphalt sealing work, and I can keep family and friends apprised of our daily doings with our online blog.

Italian young people are are tech savvy as anyone, but it is rare to find any Italian of my own generation or older who is connected. I have tried to talk to some of my relatives here about how nice it is to be able to talk and share pictures easily with family, shop online and look up information, but they have no interest. Their family is all around them, and it is nicer to talk in person, they say. I can't argue with that. I recently saw two women in their sixties taking a walk with a woman in her eighties, probably two daughters walking their mom. The sixty-somethings were on each side of the mom, supporting her while they took a turn around the town, and it is scenes like this that make me glad to be a part of this country. However, I still think that when I am not able to get around so easily, in the times that my own delightful children and friends aren't entertaining me, I will be very happy to be connected to the rest of the world.

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