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Being a grandparent across the miles — online!

By the time my 3-year-old granddaughter was born, my son and daughter-in-law were living on the West coast, where he attends medical school. I live in the Southeast and have only seen my granddaughter three times in person — right after she was born when they traveled home to visit, then two summers ago on the East Coast (where they were visiting family) and finally, the first week of December 2011, when I visited them by flying out to their home.

That's why I am so thankful for today's technology and the Internet. With computers, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, Skype, FaceTime, etc., my wife and I can keep up with our granddaughter's activities, see dozens of photos of her each month that my son and daughter-in law post on photo sites and Facebook, and even watch her open her presents from us (bought online) on Christmas morning in real time.

And, we're not alone. More and more grandparents are connecting with their grandchildren on the Internet and through mobile phones — whether or not they live in separate cities. With many new websites devoted to this particular relationship, grandparents can bridge the age and distance gap online instantly.

Here are some website examples you might want to investigate:

Written by Gio, a father of four (three boys and one girl, all over 21) and a grandfather of one (a 3-year-old granddaughter) ... who is adorable and calls him "Pop-Pop."

January 2012