“The iPhone’s powerful, yet fun and toy-like aspects largely contributed to the way communications have evolved across generations,” Natt Garun writes for The Verge. “In America, it expanded on the instant messaging culture AIM made ubiquitous and made that accessible and interactive to use. Where my grandmother would wait for a handwritten letter from my mom, and my mom would wait for me to call her on the phone, we all now keep in touch in real time via group messages, complete with images and short videos.”

“When I reflect on the way the iPhone shaped and strengthened multigenerational communication, I’m often reminded that many see smartphones as the very things that keep us distracted from each other,” Garun writes. “But for my family, it’s the gadget that virtually connects us together. Maybe that’ll change when my mom learns how to download apps, but for now she seems occupied enough with sending me daily photos of the food she cooks to entice me back home for a visit.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For the most part, we call our grandparents on the phone, but we mainly use Messages and Instagram to communicate with our parents (some voice still, but not anywhere near as much as the pre-iPhone days; they initiate the voice calls far more than we do, for sure). With our friends and family of similar age, we almost never use the Phone app. How about you?