Skype and a family conference call
You know that technology is becoming ubiquitous when your totally non-technical parents are using Skype (http://www.skype.com)! I’ve been promoting Skype for use within my family for a month or so now, ever since my parents got high-speed internet. My dad’s first reaction was “JOANNE! Come look at THIS!”. Somehow, the video component totally overwhelms my parents with coolness. The ability for my parents to see their grandchildren eating dinner is priceless. And since my sister recently moved to Wales (with 2 of aforementioned grandchildren), I think that Skype will end up being a lifeline to them for my mom.
So, this morning, when the entire family was on a Skype conference call, it was a bit like the dinner table at Christmas, quite exuberant! I look forward to many more conference calls in the future, but I suspect that we will end up using the 1:1 video calling more frequently because the video component is an amazing touch for families far away from one another. I’m not really wild about using the video feature for business calls (with 2 small kids, I don’t always get to shower before work!), but for family it’s great!
Ah, but then I read in the news about how Skype calls may (heck, probably are) used extensively by terrorists and such, because of their encrypted nature. EEK. Well, the whole wiretapping thing freaks me out a bit for privacy reasons. Of course, then I go watch an episode of “24” (http://www.fox.com/24) and that makes me think about the ramifications of NOT being able to tap into calls (and the geek in me wonders if Skype’s gonna show up in the show soon!).
Anyhow, Skype is cool. Anything that gets my kids’ grandma to use the computer is definitely cool. She hasn’t called us yet using it, but she’s getting close to being comfortable enough to do that. And that’s very very cool.