Recently, I had the chance to watch Interstellar, a science fiction film staring Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey. It revolves around Cooper, a man who has to leave his family on Earth to search for a new habitable planet for mankind after Earth is hit by a planetary catastrophe.
While the show’s stunning visual effects and intriguing plot caught my attention, what struck me most was the part where the main character could only communicate with his family via short video recordings.
The nature of his mission also meant that he could only receive periodic updates on his family’s lives through the same system. Being stationed in outer space, Cooper misses out on many major life events that he would otherwise have been a part of had he not gone on the mission.
As a student living away from home, I could relate with what the main character must have felt as he watched those video updates, though on a smaller scale. Although technology has helped break down barriers that once thwarted long-distance communication (with Skype a fine example), gadget-aided communication is simply not the same as face-to-face conversations.
So much is lost when we rely on machines alone to help us communicate: the fine details and emotional connections, just to name a few. These little things are masked behind the screen like a veil over a face.
However, for those who are living far away from loved ones, one of the best ways to stay in touch is by reaching out to them through these devices. When I returned home for the holidays, I realised that many things had changed. In fact, many events transpired when I was not around. Suddenly, I felt out of sync with my family even though I had maintained contact through phone calls.
It was interesting, though, to discover that by being physically present and actually talking to them face-to-face, I was able to catch up with them and find out more about the things that had occurred when I was not around.
My point here is that we need to cherish every moment that we are able to have face-to-face interactions with family members and friends.
Whenever you have the chance, meet up, go on trips together or just have dinner at the same table.
At the end of the day, we may not be able to stop the progress of time but we can certainly take advantage of the opportunities it presents. The key thing is to stay in touch!