With modern air travel, it is possible to visit family members and dear friends who live in other parts of the country for Thanksgiving. Indeed, Thanksgiving week is the busiest time of year for airlines and airports.

It is not uncommon for people to think twice about Thanksgiving travel, given the crowds and commotion. And now, much of the country is socked in with blizzards, massive snows, and temperatures well below freezing. These conditions make travel even more daunting, if not impossible in some circumstances.

But, yes, there is a silver lining. Of course, nothing can truly substitute in-person reunions of family and friends during the holidays. Yet, when such gatherings just cannot happen, in comes tech.

It was not that long ago that the only real way to communicate with someone real-time at a distance was via a land-line telephone. Before that, there was the electrical telegraph, beacons, yodeling, and smoke signals.

Now, there are innumerable tech ways to be present with our loved ones:

  • We can move around while talking on our wireless mobile phones;
  • We can send emails back and forth;
  • We can communicate rapid-fire with text messages;
  • We can talk and see each other via Skype and FaceTime;
  • We can send instant messages while on Gmail and Facebook;
  • We can post photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook; and
  • We can send disappearing images to and fro on Snapchat.

The only thing we are missing is the hug. Perhaps the next big thing will be the virtual hug. I will download the App when it becomes available.