Tag Archives: time zones

A Small World

19 Dec

I have friends all around the world, and friends who travel a great deal. I travel a fair amount, too. Communication across time zones can be an issue sometimes.

My daughter and her husband and son are in Puerto Rico for ten days, so I had to check on the time there. (An hour ahead of the East Coast.) Several family members are in California, and my youngest brother and his family live in Alaska. Currently, a good friend is vacationing in New Zealand.

Inevitably, someone will forget about the time zones and call or send a text message at what seems like an obscene hour. It’s midnight in Philadelphia when it’s 8 p.m. in Alaska, and I’m not sure what time it is in New Zealand because the International Date Line is involved. Sometimes if one of us is up late, and the other is up early, it works out.

If I remembered, I could turn off the ringer on my phone at night, but I don’t. Maybe I like that middle of the night communication. Someone far away is thinking of me.

It all has to do with the world being smaller. Only fifty ago, a letter from New Zealand or Alaska would have taken at least a week or more. A phone call would have been possible, but it would have been a major life event. Being connected is an important element of being human. We crave connection with other people. Of course, it can be carried to extremes, and electronic communication can take the place of person to person contact. But instant communication does make me feel closer to family, friends, and even strangers around the globe.

The world is getting smaller, but at the same time, it is bigger. All the electronic communication we use is just a reminder that we are one, one world, one people.