Knowing my general distaste for and avoidance of technology, a former student was shocked to learn I was using email. That was 1990.
While I am by no means a techie propeller head, I have embraced—mostly out of necessity—much of the cyber-communication world. I even led the conversion of two newspapers from film to digital photography because it was time, and it was the most cost-effective thing to do.
While I still grumble and wish we could turn back the analog clock to a time before the internet—my children call me boomer—I recognize there are a lot of good things that come with the bad.
I was reminded of this when two in-person college classes I was teaching—that even sounds funny to my 1960’s brain—were forced online after just four meetings because of COVID-19.
Platforms such as Zoom allowed us to meet virtually and keep the classes going. Admittedly, much was lost from meeting in person.
After the semester ended, I followed up with my own online classes, permitting me to keep teaching and reaching others wherever they were. We created a nourishing, supportive virtual community, which felt lifesaving for those shut in.
I was also able to watch and participate in church services held in states far from where I now live. I immersed myself in the lives of loved ones I had gathered with years ago.
With a FaceTime app, I was able to talk and see a dear friend who was in hospice care with little time to live. Curt left this world three weeks later.
Without this technology, we would not have been able to look into each other’s eyes and say goodbye in person, virtually. It struck me how thankful I was for this connecting technology.
Many enterprising photographers turned to making “virtual” portraits, using platforms such as Zoom. This way, people could get their family portraits made without leaving their homes or yards.
Jeremy Cowart, who I admire greatly, made some beautiful portraits online. See them at www.jeremycowart.com.
Face your fears of technology—if you have any—and make virtual portraits of family or friends, recording their voices. The easiest way is to connect with your laptop or smartphone and capture screen shots from FaceTime, Zoom, YouTube and Facebook. That will allow you to leap over time and cyberspace into the living rooms and the backyards of family and friends, miles, if not countries, away.
Email your best image (just one, please) with caption information, including an explanation of how it affects you, to GPH@pur.coop. We may share submissions on our website and social media channels.