Getting in touch via technology

Be My Eyes is an app that helps connect blind people 'in need' with people with sight who love to help others and connect with them via live video chat. Whenever a blind person is alone and could need a pair of eyes (to take a look at a family picture for example), they take their phone and connect with a volunteer from somewhere on this worlds, who loves to help the blind person and tell them what they see via the live video chat. This way, volunteers can help the blind whenever they need help and it's also an easy way for blind people to get in touch with othersfrom all around the world.

It's a simple, yet gentle concept. I've heard and read many negative opinions about the app, saying it's disgracing for the blind, identifying them with unindependent and helpless creatures. I totally disagree with that. Yes, it's a way to help blind people whenever they feel like they could use some help, but most of all, it's a way to connect with others. In the 'instruction video' there's indeed an example of a blind person who likes to get help by looking at a picture and talk about it with someone else. It's not the fact that she needs a pair of eyes, she just likes to relive her memories and is glad someone else can help her and talk with her about that memories.

It actually reminded me of a concept I heard of in May 2014, called the 'Speaking Exchange' project. It was a project for both young Brazilians who liked to learn English and elderly Americans who just wanted to connect with someone else. The pilot project was implemented at a CNA school in Brazil and a retirement comminuty in Chicago (US) and was a great success. The Brazilians youngsters got in touch with the elderly Americans by videochat. By just talking and teaching the Brazilians simple English words, the elderly felt less lonely and connected to the world (via modern technology, that is!) and the Brazilians indeed did learn to speak English. In fact, some relationships were developed that enriched both sides, the youngsters and elderly felt connected and appreciated that someone else was willing to spend their time on one another.

And that's what this is all about: getting in touch via modern technology and taking time for one another. It's the fact that people with normal eyesight are willing to take a moment for blind people that makes the concept valuable. It's the fact that people who have never met in person are willing to help each other and maybe get a bond. These people are not expecting to get something in return, they just like doing someting for somebody else. Connecting to others is good for both your social wellbeing and emotional wellbeing. So what are you waiting for? Start getting in touch with others who like to get in touch and don't expect anything in return!

0 reacties:

Een reactie posten