I thought of calling this piece “How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too.” For a number of fortunate people, when a holiday comes up, so does a rather consistent choice in their lives. Holidays are traditionally designated family time, but the industrial revolution has also given rise to another holiday activity. Holiday travel. In that context, when a cultural or religious holiday comes up, does one spend it with one’s family or does one enjoy a trip away from home? This choice, which is sometimes fraught with tension, has made an appearance on every continent but Antartica.
That said, it is more common in societies where a higher number of adult siblings tend to live in the same city as each other and their parents. This is, of course, exemplified in Middle Eastern societies. In the Middle East, children who permanently move to other parts of their country when they grow to adulthood are the minority. More children start their own families in the same city they were born, unless they get a lucrative job offer abroad, outside their country entirely. I know this having been born and raised in the Middle East.
The reasons this is more common in Middle Eastern countries could fill a book, so let’s not get caught up in that. I imagine there are other regions where this holiday conundrum is more common as well. Suffice to say that the conundrum is global but has some regional concentrations. What I’d like to talk about is how video conferencing software can and has been solving this conundrum significantly for over a decade now. Or rather, just the former. All I have to say about the latter is that Some people have been essentially going on their trips whilst joining their extended family via video call online. Now let’s look at developing the ways video conferencing solutions can solve this conundrum.
If your heart is set on flying to the Bahamas next Eid or maybe you’re going to the Maldives next Christmas, here’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on the next family holiday. Take the largest screen in your house and set it up with a camera for video chatting in Mom and Pop’s house before you go! You won’t be needing the screen while you’re gone anyway, so you might as well set it up for a good video call.
You can set it up in the dining room, the living room, or wherever your family spends most of the holiday. If you really want to catch the whole holiday you can bring along a wheeled cabinet to move the screen along. The screen doesn’t have to be huge. Something just a little bigger than a regular laptop screen will do. That way, your virtual presence during the holiday is properly felt during the video call. You just need to be lifesize, not larger than life!
There’s a chance you’ve got more than one fairly large screen in your home. Much like the screen mentioned above, you won’t need any of them during a trip away from home for the Holiday. If you’re looking to stay in video conference with your family throughout the holiday in every room while you enjoy your vacation, and setting up a single screen on a rolling cabinet isn’t feasible, consider setting up a screen in your folks’ (or uncle’ or cousins’) place for video calling in every room.
That way you can have your cake and eat it too. Salmon fish in the Yemen while listening to old Uncle Al’s politically incorrect jokes at the family Thanksgiving dinner. One long video call that never ends really. Of course, don’t actually search for Salmon to fish in the Yemen. Or do I don’t know. It’s the name of a book and a movie by the same name, but I’ve never done it. The important thing is that you can use video call technology in conjunction with multiple screens to never miss a moment of the family get together during the holidays, while making good your escape from them at the very same time!
In the idea above I went a little more basic than fixing a monitor on a wheeled rolling cabinet in case it wasn’t feasible. For this idea, I’m doubling down on the use of wheels for all you techies out there! The truth is, I’ve talked about virtual presence devices before, mainly because they’re such a great idea. I’ve also talked about their video call usage in multiple sitcoms to what I mostly saw as hilarious effect.
Basically, Virtual Presence Devices, or Telepresence Robots are screens on wheels held up by a stick. You can program them to go anywhere remotely so you can be well, virtually present. If you’re a true techie, you can probably make your own without it costing you too much money. I’m sure I have at least four or five friends who can build their own. If you’re more like me, a tech enthusiast with no technical programming and electric wiring skills, you can shell out a bit more money and buy one.
Change locations with everyone from the dining room to the living room and back again. Follow your cousin around to annoy him. You can even knock on the washroom when someone’s in there saying you need to go. Although that may get the “virtual you” locked up in a cupboard. Make sure not to be too annoying when you’re attending a function as that type of robot because you’re not some sort of super cyborg really. Your capacity to defend yourself is rather limited.
What did you think of these three ways to both have your cake and eat it too during the holidays? If you want to match these ideas with the best possible video chatting system to avoid interrupted video calls, go ahead and check out some of the solutions we offer you here at Banty.