Human Interest


As many of you Facebook-users know, our 14 year-old granddaughter, CLAIRE, has gotten into volleyball, big time! After a brief, and somewhat successful “career” in youth performing arts, her close girlfriends encouraged her to join them playing volleyball on a club team. She did, and low-and-behold, she wasn’t half bad at it. Her club team was made up of girls her age, many of whom she knew, and they gelled well as a team. They played games in the Mobile-Daphne, Alabama, area and as far away as New Orleans and Orlando, FL. 

I don’t know where she learned it, or if it was natural instinct, but she has become a very effective “outside hitter.” That’s the player up at the net on the left side. That player has to jump high and be quick on her feet, and she is. She has to block the opponents shots and be ready when the setter prepares her for a “kill shot.” She also plays defender on the back line, usually on the left side. Here, she has to react very quickly to return the opponents kill shots, at times needing to dive to reach the ball.

In August, she started her freshman year of high school and tried out for volleyball. She made the junior varsity team, and thus, finally, begins the topic of this blog post. Our daughter told us if we wanted to see CLAIRE’S games, we could watch them on Facebook. Oh, really? A couple of team parents videoed the games using their cell phones, and transmitted them live over Facebook. If we wanted to see the game, all we had to do was go to the Daphne High School JV volleyball team Facebook page and watch. The video could be saved so if we couldn’t watch it live, we could watch it later. We’ve been able to watch nearly every game she has played. I think the whole thing is amazing.

This is space-age technology for sure! Probably, some of you knew about this, but it was new to us. Here we are, CLAIRE’S grandparents, living 1400 miles away, watching her play volleyball from our home, just as if we were there. We can see every serve, set, block, and kill, and cheer and clap. She just can’t hear us. How great is that! We are so grateful to the parents who had the interest in doing this and the technical expertise to pull it off. I don’t know how it works or what the folks who video the games do to make it possible, but we are very glad they share their know-how. This technology, along with Face Time and Zoom calls, has revolutionized personal communication, and all of us are the benefactors. In addition to hearing their voice, we can see our friends and family as we talk. It’s just great! 

So much about our world and our lives has changed because of new technologies. Cell phone communication, the internet, wi-fi connections, DVR’s, streaming services to watch movies and TV series, Bluetooth connections in our cars or homes, and many more electronic advances have enabled us to communicate instantly, be entertained in a myriad of ways, and interact with one another more personally. It makes one wonder what new technology is yet to be discovered. Have all the ideas already come to reality? Is there anything left to invent? I’m sure there is and some Silicon Valley genius will make it happen. We’ll all know soon enough. 

But for the time being I will enjoy the ability to watch my granddaughter’s volleyball games from my home on my iPad as if I were there in person. Maybe I’ll eventually be able to watch Facebook, and her games, on my smart TV. So far I haven’t found anyone who can do that for me. 

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