I Thought By Now I’d Be Skyping More

I saw Judah this afternoon. Judah is my not quite three year old nephew¹ from Milwaukee. We met up via Skype with the help of his parents Jessie and Evan. Baby sister Gabby looked on.

The conversation started with Judah burrowing his head into Jessie’s neck. Cute, but not a confidence builder there’d be much substance to the chat. He says he’s looking forward to Helaine and my upcoming trip to Milwaukee to see the hapless Brewers play the hapless Phillies.

Just establishing the chat tonight was like pulling teeth. Jessie favors iChat. I’m using a Samsung phone. Oops. We settled on Skype.

It took at least a half dozen attempts before we were able to connect. A few times Jessie’s face appeared briefly before the whole thing shut down. My hopping between 4G and WiFi here at work is probably the culprit. Maybe the Skype app isn’t resilient enough to follow along?

I have my tablet. I have my smartphone. I use a laptop with a camera built into the bezel. I expected to be using Skype or Oovoo, or Google’s video chat service a lot more than I do… which is nearly nil.

Maybe my expectations were too high? Maybe the ease of connection needed still isn’t there?

I don’t Skype with my folks. I don’t Skype with my daughter. Friends? Nah.

It was fun when I used to video chat with my friend in Kabul (he’ll soon move just north of the equator in West Africa). It really was like being there, which was good for both of us during his isolation. The only problems were his horrendous Internet service and undependable electric supply. We’ll see how Africa compares.

I’ve been a big believer video chat would be the favored method of person-to-person comms going forward. Not anymore. Keyboard-to-keyboard continues to grow strongly while even cellphone voice minutes fall off.

Facebook, Google and others promote their video services, but I never hear about them being used.

Video is still too difficult. Communications are best when easiest.

Video is best saved for special occasions like talking to Judah.

¹- I’m not very good with this, but Judah is my sister’s daughter’s son. Nephew? Maybe great nephew? I’m always confused.

10 Responses to “I Thought By Now I’d Be Skyping More”

  1. I used Skype to talk to my sister who’s living in Ireland. I can Skype her from my iPhone over the bluetooth in my car. It’s not a perfect connection, but I’m taking the backroads from Middletown to Branford so I think it’s amazing! When I’m on WIFI in my office or at home it works perfectly. But we’re using it more often for voice alone than for video. I think video still takes too much bandwith to run well.

  2. Fran Allen says:

    I LOVE ichat,face to face and skype…visit grandkids & kids in CT, OK, CA and Chicago all the time …My 3yo grand daughter is very adept at “calling” Granma…either one ..her “other” Gma is in Denver…we would never get to see them growing up without the present modern marvels…….even our Maltese Molly recognizes the tell tale computer “ring”….she thinks it’s for HER!!! She always gets to woof “HI”……Florida would be TOO lonely with my video fix…

  3. Mary Llewellyn says:

    We use Skype so that my mother, who has Alzheimer’s,
    can see relatives who live far away. Even if she doesn’t
    say much, I can see by her smiles when she sees her brother
    in Florida, that she gets much more from a video contact
    than she’d ever get from just a phone. Skype is a
    blessing.

  4. Ginny says:

    It’s great nephew or grand nephew.

    I have Skype, but have only used it once for chatting. My best friend in Indiana wanted to try it out, so I was her guinea pig. I didn’t like it. We were chatting computer to computer when her phone rang. She answered it, and I sat, waited, and eavesdropped for 10 minutes while she took her important call. Now I only use Skype when I need to take a picture of myself.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I live in CT and my parents and inlaws (my kids’ grandparents) all live in California. We only see each other about twice per year but we skype every Sunday. We skype during a set time every week but I always call on a regular phone first to see if everyone’s ready to go. I have never just called someone on skype like I would a phone (although I often text instead of even calling now too!).

    My husband and I took a trip to Europe while the grandparents came out and stayed with our kids. We also used it to talk to them (for free) while there. Otherwise we would have used all our French cell phone minutes quite quickly.

    We also used the calling feature in gmail to call a US cell phone for free (from a laptop over wifi). But that may have only worked because we were on an American VPN so they thought we were in the US?

    If it were just me I’d probably never/rarely skype with my parents. Although they did enjoy seeing some of our snowstorms during the winter, tour of our house before they visited, etc.

  6. I wonder if the fact that people think they have to dress and/or put makeup on may have something to do with people not wanting to do video. John

  7. Gail B says:

    I’ve been disappointed with Skype…now that my daughter lives 755 miles away, we thought we’d “talk” every week. It keeps disconnecting and just isn’t worth it. I did get a video tour of her apartment, but it took several reconnects to do the whole things. The upside is she loves facetime with her ipad, and I hear I might be getting one for my Sept birthday just so we can see each other!!! I’m not complaining!

  8. Cindy G from Brooklyn, CT says:

    Judah is your great nephew, his mother is your niece. When Judah grows up and has kids, they will be your great-great nephews/nieces.

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