Skype has made loving my friends and family even more fun. For example, Marion, 83 years young and a passionate knitter, showed off her latest creations. In the future she will demonstrate to me how to knit a “bobble” onscreen.
Recently, this conversation rocked my world.
June: “Show me how much snow fell on your deck.”
Me: “Check it out. David had to shovel through 18 inches to make a potty path for the dog.”
June: “Wow, what a lot of snow!”
Mundane to many, but our talk took place onscreen through Skype.com. June lives in California, and through our laptops, she was able to view the aftermath of a Massachusetts snowfall in real time. Despite a distance of 3,000 miles, June and I shared an instant face-to-face conversation.
I later tried to get other friends to Skype, but older adults are resistant. At first, I was, too. As a 56-year old “technosaur,” I dread tackling new-to-me technologies. But the lure of instant visual communication was one way to drag me, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.
Meryl Streep is to blame. In the movie “It’s Complicated,” she and Steve Martin talk to and see each other live using Skype. He has a pile of sweaters to try on and asks her, keep or throw it away? I wanted to do that!
Skype is a system of Internet video communication that launched in 2003. Today, I’m just one of 560 million registered users, and I had everything I needed to get started. My laptop had a built-in camera for video communication. I completed the short form necessary for free Skype-to-Skype service. Then I searched for other friends signed up to Skype.
My first time around, I asked my friend Cydnee to Skype me. A message box opened up on my laptop screen with her name. I hit the answer button and I could see Cydnee onscreen. When I also pressed the “video” button, then she could see me, too. So exciting!
Skype has made loving my friends and family even more fun. For example, Marion, 83 years young and a passionate knitter, showed off her latest creations. In the future she will demonstrate to me how to knit a “bobble” onscreen. Elsewhere, Roni has a new Shih Tzu. The weather has kept us from bringing her Sofie and my Mojo together on a doggy play date, but what a kick to see her new pet onscreen. My friend June Ahern is a life coach in San Francisco, and meeting with clients on Skype allows her a greater depth of connection through visual and verbal sharing.
Sudden Skype calls make me nervous about my appearance. Then again, a naked face and wearing old sweats aren’t really bad form between close friends and family.
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