March 24, 2010

Skype-ticism

Admittedly, I'm not an early adopter of new technology, always a bit skeptical. The new Adobe CS comes out, I'll wait a bit till they work the bugs out… iPhone, can't possibly be all it's cracked up to be, maybe in a year or two…social media, it'll never stick, all right maybe I'll give this Facebook thing a try… So recently, I reluctantly decided to adopt Skype into my digital life and to my surprise, it unveiled a benefit that I hadn't thought of until I gave it a whirl. Now, I've always seen the value of  video conferencing in a professional  scenario, but on a personal level I'd never really thought of it as viable. What can it do that a phone call can't? That was instantly made clear to me during my first video call to my mother. Sunday afternoon, my two-year old son was sitting on my lap when we decided to Skiiiiiipe (that's how he pronounces it) Nana. As soon as the screen appeared, after a moment or two of just hearing voices, the magic happened. Smiles were seen on both Nana's face and my boy's. Every time in the past when my son and I had a "conference call" with her, it always ended with, "God, I wish I could just see him and his smile". Well, voila Nana, here it is. Skype has made it possible to fulfill a grandparents request to see their grandkids more often. I know being there is one thing, but I'm hoping that this helps mitigate the guilt tactics delivered by a Catholic mother (if you come from a Catholic upbringing you'll appreciate this even more) for us to come home more often. Essentially, it is helping to rebuild the bond of family in long distance situations that are more prevalent in our modern society. Thank you Skype, maybe I'll go out and pick up one of those iThingies now.

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