How many people do you talk to on a regular day?
I am not referring to face-to-face talking only, but to all direct communication, through any platform: chats on Gmail, Facebook and others, phone calls, texts, Skype, and whatever communication system was invented while I was here (if people chat using holograms now, please leave it as a surprise). So, how many?
To me, it’s simple: 5. Everyday, in the past 11 months. I have not called, online chatted with, texted, or otherwise directly communicated with anyone outside.
Why? Yes, crews on the International Space Station have Internet, and communication with Apollo astronauts was (almost) in real time. But Mars is much farther from Earth, and messages take time to get there; roughly between 3 and 23 minutes, depending on the position of both planets. In such conditions, trying to have a direct conversation would be like Skyping while having AOL as provider.
From here, we communicate with the outside world with emails delayed by 20 minutes in both directions. So, we know that we will never get an answer in less than 40 minutes. Unfortunately, emails are sometimes lost in the process.
Sometimes it can be frustrating. First, because ...