Communication has been the most important thing in my life. Leaving America when I was 7 and saying goodbye to my relatives was the hardest thing I had to do as a child. What made it even more painful was that if all went well it took 3 weeks for a letter to reach us. That meant a 6 week turn around time for any correspondence to take place with my grandma or grandfather, or 'Pop-Pop', as we called him. That was over 30 years ago.
Later, I went to the Air Force and I remember having a particularly hard time, and wanting to call my mom. I remember standing in the phone booth and pumping in German marks. It cost 6 dollars a minute and on a Airmans' salary we really couldn't talk. Nevertheless, I was so thrilled to hear her voice that it helped me make it through that dark period in my life.
The next communication breakthrough I recall, was when my wife and I were living in the Carribbean. The internet was being brought to the islands and it was 1997. At the time we were spending $3.50 a minute to talk to our family and business associates back in the states and it was straining our budget in a major way. When the internet finally arrived on our island only 3 or 4 folks on the island even had a computer. We had one for our business but it was not connected to the net. The technology was new to the world and there was no one to help us connect.
What we ended up doing was going on a 42 hour marathon figuring it out ourselves. I'll never forget the thrill as the Yahoo screen came up. We created an email address - which we still have - and sent a message to a friend in another nearby island. Now, 10 years later we have discovered video email. It's a combination of email and video that allows the receiver to see and hear you in crisp crystal clear resolution.