Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where Am I?

We are in a modern age, yet there are the occasional times that I get surprised at what I can actually do with the technology that is available to all of us.

Yesterday while I was surfing the internet in middle of the night, which I am prone to do instead of going to bed, I was researching my vacation in Key West. Through a series of random keystrokes I stumbled onto a site that has live streaming cameras of some of the hot-spots throughout the island.

There are 3 cameras from different angles all pointing at the general Mallory Square. One of them is angled out onto the water, where the sun sets, one of them is pointing towards the cafe and the stage, and one of them has a birds-eye view of the entire area.
Despite me being in a different country, the cameras aren't blurry at all. I can see the water rippling, the clouds moving, the two people racing on their jet-skis. I can see all of this as clearly as if I was sitting right there on the pier. I can even hear the music that the cafe is playing for its customers.

I am not in Key West. I am not in Florida. I am not even in America. Yet if I focus, its as if I am sitting right there. Even more so if I would move my computer out into the sun.

I can see the people walking by, not aware that I am sitting here at my computer in Israel watching them. I can see the waitress setting up the tables, and the band setting up on the stage. I can see this all in real time.

When I look away from my computer I can see my mother sitting at the kitchen table reading a newspaper. I can see my dad washing the dishes. I can see my dog lying on the floor. But as soon as I look back at my computer, I can virtually be in Key West.

Get this, in a couple minutes the Maccabiah Games closing ceremony starts. It's located at a giant stadium in a different part of Jerusalem. It is going to be a massive event, there are multiple Israeli music artists performing including Infected Mushroom, which is one of my favorite bands.
I wasn't able to find anyone to go with me, though I did try really hard to convince my parents to go. It was close but in the end they opted out.
So rather then going by myself, I am going to sit on my computer and watch the live streaming of the event. I will hear all the musical performers, I will see the fireworks, I will virtually be part of the crowd. Despite me sitting in my dining room on my laptop.
If I wanted I could watch the people of Key West and the closing ceremony at the same time. I could even eat dinner while doing it.

Don't get me started on Skype. Well okay,  now I've started on Skype. I know we are all used to it so it doesn't seem as cool anymore, but if you think about it, its actually quite incredible. I can Skype with my sister in America and its as if one of us drove to see the other like we used to do. I take her into the kitchen while I cook and she takes me out onto the porch as she has a cigarette. We spend time together, even though we aren't in the same country.
Or I group Skype with my close group of friends. We get on our computers, despite all of us being in different places and we talk, gossip and get hyper together. My friend shows us her baby, my other friend shows us a new dress that she bought. It's like we are all sitting in a room hanging out.

So here is the ultimate question. Where am I? Am I in Key West watching the sunset and hearing the waves lap onto the pier? Am I at the Infected Mushroom concert? Am I in Chicago meeting my friends new baby? Am I in Monsey with my sister? Or am I just in Israel using my technology to the fullest?

Where am I really?


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