March 24, 2016

On artificial goodbyes

When many of our grandparents and great-grandparents emigrated from Europe to Venezuela during the 20th century, they left behind parents, siblings, friends, girlfriends β€” with promises to write and come back to visit soon. Most lost touch and never heard from each other again.

Nowadays we still say goodbye with sadness, but rather than days or months before hearing about each other again, it takes seconds for a followup goodbye message to arrive. This has distorted our perception of time and distances.

The collective trauma a billion people would suffer if air travel and the internet were disrupted on the same week would likely be unrivaled in our history.

Of course there’s no need to panic. But sometimes we should remember that despite all our technologies, nothing beats a heartfelt goodbye with a hug.

Essay Family

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