Indiana University Overseas Study

Keeping in Touch


I get homesick. It’s expected. I’ve never been outside of the States before this. I try to do madrileña things to combat it and enjoy my surroundings. Next year I won’t be able to walk out of my apartment and see or do the things I can in Madrid.

Sometimes, though, all I need is a good talk with my family. Thankfully (let’s get in the holiday, spirit shall we?) we live in an age of technology, so it’s easy for me to connect.

I clearly have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, my personal blog, and email to get in touch with people. I’m a 21st century young adult addicted to social media so I will always connect somehow. That only gets me so far, though. I need something with more substance to share my thoughts and experiences with my loved ones which is where Apple, Google, and Skype help me out.

I love Google and Apple and I’m not afraid to say it. I use my GChat on my Google email to send texts for free to friends who don’t own an Apple product. I can also video chat with it.

Then there’s Apple. I use my iPhone here not as a phone, but more of an iPod. However, I can still use iMessage when I have wifi. This is not only amazing for keeping in touch with my friends and family at home with Apple products, but I can use it with friends in Madrid as well. Saldo (money) for our old school, prepaid, flip phones is something we guard as precious. We try not to use it if we can, especially because it runs out so quickly, so we Facebook and iMessage each other as often as we can get away with.

There is a six-hour time difference for me in Madrid, which makes it hard to Skype or FaceTime on a whim, so I use iMessage more often than not. I do love a good two-hour Skype session at midnight here, though, especially when I’m having a rough day. It’s nice to feel as if I’m sitting in the same room with my whole family from all the way across an ocean. That is exactly what I did yesterday and now I feel like I’m ready to conquer Madrid again.

So my main Thanksgiving line this year is that I’m thankful for technology. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with those I love at home while creating a new European life. I want the best of both worlds, and technology helps me get closer to that.

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