Well… a video call.
Today I witnessed a young chap in the college cafeteria on his netbook, which is certainly nothing remarkable. But I saw him making these wild gestures at the screen, at which point I realized he was doing sign language. And on his screen I could see the video image of a woman who looked like she was probably his mother on the other end of a Skype video chat.
Still nothing remarkable, but it just suddenly hit me then and there that deaf people have never been able to use phones, and until quite recently in history it would have been extremely difficult for a deaf person to stay in touch with their loved ones from a distance. Even at the advent of e-mail/SMS only via text, with easy/free live video chats being an even more recent innovation.
Sometimes I feel a little too over-connected, and I sure as hell don’t want to video chat with anyone because the phone is awkward enough to me. But I couldn’t help but think that for this kid and his family, that must be something pretty damn awesome.