How has email changed how you communicate with your long-distance family?
All of my family live at least 3 hours away. For several years, they lived 7 hours away. Without e-mail and other online tools for communication, I don't know what I would have done. When I was 6 weeks postpartum with my son, my sister (who lived 3+ hours away) noticed that I "sounded" a bit tense on AOL IM, so she called me right away. She then made me call a doctor to get some help.My dad and I communicate much more since we've been using e-mail, and that's especially important now that he is bedridden from a spinal tumor/prostate cancer. We send each other links and notes. When he and my mom would travel, he'd e-mail their itinerary so we'd know where they were each day.
With my father's cancer diagnosis, my family members and I communicate more than ever. We were e-mailing back and forth so much to keep us updated (besides me, one sister lives 1.5 hours away and another sister has one year old twins, so she has communication issues, too) that I set up a Writeboard for us to communicate. We use that not only for sharing news about my dad, but also for anything else on our minds, and we use Skrbl when we need to draw pictures (for example, I'm having trouble planning a deck or patio in my backyard because of various setback issues).
I'm close with my family emotionally, if not geographically, and without e-mail, I don't think I would be able to live where I do, and I'd be settling for a job I don't love as much as the job I have now.
Unfortunately, my mother is not so e-mail friendly, which is why I'm entering this contest. ;)