What does Skype mean to you?

In 2002 I first started to use VOIP technology with Yahoo messenger – 12 years ago.ladies with laptop

I met my boyfriend, later husband in 2002, in South Africa and had to return to England to complete my studies. You can imagine, all in love, back from a trip and now what….I needed to talk to him. The desire to talk to family, loved ones and my boyfriend made me look for new advances in technology and I wasn’t going to put up with telephone cards anymore – you know the ones where you rub off  long number on the back, which you were able to use to call home cheaply.

Almost 10 years ago Yahoo Messenger was our choice. I can remember sitting on the floor in my little room and being so excited about being able to hear and see my boyfriend. I saw him drinking a Coke and I saw his face and his eyes. Even the quality of the video at the time was quite good.

Only later on I learnt about Skype. And today Skype is a regular occurrence in my life. It is like having a cellphone, or a landline at home. In fact, I have a Skype app on my phone. Today I am still excited to see family and loved ones on Skype, but I am certainly not that excited anymore, the novelty has worn off.

Skyping has become a regular activity, especially on weekends. My husband’s family lives in South Africa and we Skype on a regular basis to keep them updated on our lives and on our baby girl. Sometimes, we spend the whole morning or afternoon in front of the computer, which is a shame, because then the entire day is gone. I wonder what the little ones think. My little girl is two now and in the beginning she always looked behind the computer to see where her grandparents were hiding. For them it is all going to be normal one day.

I have a love/hate relationship with Skype. On the one hand it helps me to stay in touch with friends and family…I’ve even made new friends through Skype…but sometimes I feel it also stops me from living in a real space. Skype can help with overcoming distances, but it will never be able to replace real quality time with family and friends.

I am happy to see people on skype, however, I am often also sad, because I can “only” see them via Skype, which tends to put me in a bad mood.

I guess I can’t have it all, the world is too big for that. Maybe our kids will be around when we finally are able to beam ourselves to places in split seconds.

I would be interested to hear what you have to say about the phenomena Skype. Do you use it, when and how often to you Skype? Do you see drawbacks? What are the positive points for you? Are there alternatives?


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