News - September 16, 2019

Long distance brings you closer - thanks to technology

Kaavya Raveendran

Resource blogger Kaavya Raveendran shares her story of how technology, in contrast to what it is famously known for, protects and preserves human connections. 'Homesick? Never. I'm actually glad that I live far, far away.'

© Sven Menschel

In this time and age when people debate whether technology is a boon or bane, I hear many furious accusations. Some say it robbed them of human connection while others say they have no time left to exist as nature intended them to be. True as that may be, one cannot deny the fact that without technology it is impossible to make a long distance relationship sustain.

Yes, long distance. You automatically sign up for that when you decide to move abroad for studies. Two years ago, I did too. But with time I realized that long distance actually brought us closer and resulted in a tighter relationship. I am not referring to a romantic relationship here, ‘us’ refers to me and my parents. Indeed, it became a long distance relationship as soon as I moved, it had its own challenges and now, somehow, it has become stronger than ever

Since my previous educational institution was located geographically closer to my house, it was customary for me to stay with my parents in their house, located in a big, crowded and busy city. You never realize how the urban culture takes over leaving behind very little of who you really are. Time zooms past with you draped around gadgets and hi-tech living. It is exactly how they show in the movies. We struggle to make human connections, sometimes even within your family. .

I’m glad that I’m far, far away - my relationships have grown stronger

When technology takes over, there are more than just the four walls in the room. With everyone’s eyes fixed on their respective digital screens, I know I barely talked or spent quality time with family members. We all blame it on busy schedules, but the truth is that it is comparatively much harder to get people to engage with each other. So, we settle with easier interfaces, digital screens.

Moving to the Netherlands, travelling the long distance, the need to communicate became an obvious necessity and so, we talked. There were no walls anymore - still a digital screen though, but this time in favor of nourishing a human connection. In reality, chatting, sharing and reaching out all became a subject of convenience.

People often ask me if I ever feel homesick. My answer is no, I’m actually glad that I’m far, far away. My relationships have grown stronger and real. And this is the story of how technology protected and preserved a human connection, in contrast to what it is famously known for. And if technology were a person, it would take a bow now!