Wherever we are, whatever we’re up, it’s a doddle staying connected to friends and family these days.
Shakira, who it’s fair to say leads a more glamorous life than most mortals, has revealed that when she is on tour, she relies heavily on FaceTime to keep in touch with her sons.
And the Colombian singer, 42, spends a LOT of time on the road, recently completing a 55-date world tour while recovering from a vocal cord haemorrhage. Meanwhile, her partner – FC Barcelona centre-back Gerard Piqué – and sons Milan, six, and four-year-old Sasha have stayed at home in Spain.
“Sometimes it’s very hard when you cannot see your sons for a month or even more,” she told Viva, according to Hola! magazine. “It is so hard. But we call each other via FaceTime, so we are in constant communication, that helps.”
She and Piqué have a figuring-it-out-as-they-go-along approach to parenting, something a lot of parents can relate to.
“We don’t have a written deal to share the tasks or anything like that, but we both are very involved in parenting and try to sort it out the best we can, we support each other and we also find a huge help in our families,” she told the magazine. “We don’t know a different way to do it!”
It’s great that we’re at a point where the tech available to the super-rich is pretty much the same as the regular kits you and I use – even if celebs do tend to have fancier phone cases.
FaceTime has been a bit of a game-changer for families, whether you use it to your nearest and dearest from halfway across the world or from a bus stuck in traffic on the way home – and it’s certainly used as much by HuffPost UK readers as Colombian pop superstars with truth-telling hips.
When we asked parents if they FaceTime their kids, the most common answer, in a word, was “always”.
The one downside is that saying goodbye to someone’s face can be harder than just doing it on the regular phone, and seeing them can make the distance between you seem all the greater. So no FaceTime before bed seems the rule.
And bear in mind that your little poppet might not always want to stay in touch.
Perhaps they should try a little draughtmanship instead.
The other, more lo-fi way Shakira keeps her sons with her on tour is by drawing them, and while her art skills leave a little to be desired, there’s something very sweet about it.
Balancing work and parenting is really difficult, and technology certainly helps, but Shakira probably isn’t the only parent out there hoping someone gets round to inventing CuddleTime.