Virtual Birthday Present

I’m posting this mission log a couple of kilometers away from home base.

I’m at a friend’s house and I decided to write today’s entry here. Why, you ask? Well, today is her birthday and everyone has decided to throw her a surprise birthday party tonight. Part of the whole surprise was making her a Facebook group page. This group page was created by her mum who wanted to get greetings from people from all over the world.

Pauline is one of my good friends in church, and we wanted to get as much people to send their greetings out to her before tonight. Aside from the people who are physically here tonight, a couple more people were able to send their greetings in video through Facebook. One of them, Carl, sent his greeting from all over Alaska.

It’s amazing when I think about how new social media is currently changing the way we even celebrate birthdays! Today is Pauline’s 18th birthday and everybody who wanted to be part of it but couldn’t physically go to tonight’s party was still able to “share” in the experience.

I imagine how in the past, people must have read letters instead in events such as this. After the kids opened their presents under the Christmas tree, I imagine their mum pulling out a letter from dad who’s working in Japan. She reads it to them as the final surprise for the night.

Today, I have about twelve cousins living abroad. My titos and titas live in San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto, and San Diego. In the past, the only way for us to get updated with their lives was to wait for their emails and the pictures they’d attach to them. At present, our exchanges involve “Buzzing”, the tagging of photos over Facebook, and video conferencing over Skype.

I must say, being able to stay in touch with them in this way is one of the reasons why I love the Internet. And I’m sure this is the same for many more people who also have loved ones living in places very far away.

Well, here’s to the Internet and the ability to send virtual gifts online. Perhaps the only thing Pauline and I need to figure out now is how to share to Carl that delicious cake we’re now about to eat–which by the way, I must now get back to. :)

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    • KC
    • July 18th, 2010

    And I’m sure this is the same for many more people who also have loved ones living in places very far away.

    I can very much relate to this blog post, Agent Eric. I can still remember those days when we used to send thick handwritten letters that would arrive in no less than two weeks, but now, things are a lot faster. The internet makes me feel that my mom (and other relatives abroad) and I are not really living in different continents after all. :)

  1. I share the same feeling with the both of you. I remember those Christmas cards sent to us by our relatives abroad which came to our house weeks or months after Christmas. That was 10 to 15 years ago, when telegraphs are so expensive because it is charged per letter. Today, I can just send a Facebook message to my cousins and they can reply right away! I can talk to them as if we’re in one place. We are able to update each other constantly due to the wonderful speed of the Internet. :)

    • slightlydillydallying
    • August 21st, 2010

    Indeed, the Internet bridges people making the world seemingly “smaller”. Inasmuch as it aids the process of globalization and the like, it all the more emphasizes the difference face-to-face communication makes. There is still this void one feels when talking to a person via virtual existence. Right? ;)

  2. it’s funny how you commented on my blog about the topic of making the world smaller through the internet. i truly agree with you.my birthdays are now more special with all the love love love i recieve from the states, canada, saipan, and australia. and though i never recieve any present from them (nor do they from me) the virtual present is ironically more than enough. :) and our facebook interactions make it seem like they never left. it was never an issue for me that they left, because i know that they’d still rather be here. :)

  3. Virtual space makes up for the loss of terrestrial space. The experience of real-time chatting is more than enough than sent packages and greeting cards. I’d rather talk to my loved ones online, share a couple of videos or pics, and talk about our lives rather than receiving gifts with notes on them. Except of course if the gift is really really valuable. LOL

  4. The beauty of new social media, is that practically anyone who has access to the internet can use it. And another thing noteworthy is it’s ability to maintain and potential to create bonds between individuals, regardless of time or place.

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