Transatlantic Puppetry

by Helene Louise  

We sometimes hear how the growing presence of technology in our lives is eroding the quality of our interactions with one another. For example, a friend of mine once told me that she and her husband used to watch TV in the evenings in separate rooms and would only realize they were watching the same program when they both laughed out loud at the same time. And recently, I saw a family having dinner at a restaurant and all of them, the parents and both children, were busy on their phones/tablets for the entire meal, looking up only when it was time to order.

 On the other hand, a lovely friend of mine told me a heart-warming story of how she keeps in touch with her family overseas—it's not the same as sitting together around the dinner table but linked via their laptops, she manages to participate in family dinners just the same. The food may be prepared thousands of miles apart but the conversation, laughs and sense of belonging are shared in real time. She has even performed puppet shows for her niece from across the ocean. 

 It just goes to show that we can take opportunities that are available to us and challenges that are presented to us and use them in many different ways. In this case, the presence of technology can either completely override a family dynamic, removing almost all interpersonal interaction, or actually foster it. I certainly know that in the case of my daughter's rehabilitation after a childhood stroke, I have had to look at things differently, make the most of every opportunity and find the advantage in the disadvantage. It takes some planning, discipline and hard work, but just like my friend's transatlantic puppetry, definitely worth the trouble.


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