To Skype or Not to Skype

I’ve skyped more in the last two days than I’ve ever skyped before in my life, I think.  I’ve never taken to the technology, I’m not really sure why.  It’s kind of amazing that you can call someone halfway around  the world, and look at them as you  talk to them.

It’s existed for years now, but it still seems kind of science fictiony to me.  Actually, though, we didn’t have visual on all of the calls.  We called my Aunt, who is 101, yesterday.  We couldn’t see her lying there in her hospital bed, and she wasn’t completely coherent due to some painkillers, but we could all talk to her at once, which was very nice.  That’s a big difference from an old fashioned phone call, right there.

Then, we talked to my niece Michelle, in Vancouver, and there we had the visual, which was great, because holding up her two year old made the picture very clear, in a way that putting a phone up to a two year old’s ear and saying “Say hellooooo!”  just doesn’t.

The call with my brother Russ, whose son Ben is visiting, was interesting.  He’s used to the technology, so it was a smooth call.  I’d never seen their dog before, and he’s a really cute dog.

Then we talked to my nephew Don (brother to Michelle and Betsy, who was the one arranging all the skyping on our end) and I haven’t seen him in real life since he was 12 or 13 or thereabouts.  He gave his girlfriend an engagement ring for Christmas and, through the miracle of skype, we saw her, too.

Right now, Betsy’s talking with her Dad, no visual but we are listening to the conversation and occasionally I’ll interject something but I’m writing the blog at the same time.

Even though it was great to talk to everybody, and I can clearly see the advantages, I don’t think I’ll make a regular habit of it.  I’ve never really  enjoyed talking on the phone much, and it’s still not the same as talking to somebody in person.  Actually, with spending so much time on facebook, I’m kind of moving in the other direction.  A  print conversation is much less personal, much less real, but somehow I feel like I’m better at it.

Still, all forms of communication are good and I’m glad we’ve got so many of them in the world.


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