Virtual Mothering – The Empowering Effect of Technology

How would you feel if your own child does not recognise you? — This was not a question, but a reality many mothers had to face when they left their children behind to work overseas in order to have enough to provide for them. They left their children in an act of selflessness, sacrificing for them, only to return a few years later to discover that they're no longer recognised by them.

The Documentary, a series by the BBC, recently aired an episode titled "Virtual Mothering". It covers the lives of mothers who have to leave their children behind to work in another country, and how the advancement of technology has given them significant empowerment. A key insight I gleaned was around the 8:50 min mark, where video conferencing technology, instant messaging, and social media, is contrasted to the late 1990's with letters or phone calls. With today's technology, mothers are now able to maintain a sense of co-presence that was previously not possible with the more analogue forms of communication. 

My parting thoughts – What's the next evolution of human communication and correspondence, what will be its unintended consequences, and how can design contribute to creating a better future?