Today’s world of cellphones, tweets, and texts makes it possible to stay constantly in touch—but where do we draw the line between contact and privacy, connection and independence? When it comes to family intimacy over distance, that question comes into sharp relief, Peggy Orenstein reflects in the New York Times. Her parents wanted Skype to be a window into the world of their granddaughter; but "if I wanted them to have unfettered access to my life, I wouldn’t have put the 'keep out' sign on my room at age 10."
With email and digital photos, Orenstein thought she’d found a perfect balance: “I’m in touch more often than ever before but entirely on my schedule.” When her parents suggested Skype, she felt compelled to give it a try, valuing “their tie to my daughter.” The result: awkward silence. “In my concern over letting my parents too far in, I hadn’t considered that video chat might do just the opposite.”