(Note to readers: This post was sponsored by Microsoft, but my opinion–as always–remains my own.)
Birthdays used to mean a great excuse to get your favorite friends and family together to celebrate another spin around the sun, but my closest friends are now scattered around the globe, and the reality is, it takes more than a birthday celebration to book a flight for a visit. We have kids, jobs, responsibilities that make ‘dropping everything’ a whole lot harder than it used to be. But some of my pals have found a new way to ‘see’ each other and spend time together, on our birthdays and beyond. We Skype.
Maybe we’ve had a rough week. We call for a ‘Wine and Whine’ session… we each pour a glass of our favorite beverage (in my case, coconut rum and coke can transport me to a tropical island in no time), dial up each other’s video Skype at a specified time, and have a group chat where we can sit and vent. We can get serious or be silly, but it’s as close to being in the same room with each other as possible. Last week, we even shared an impromptu lunch over Skype.
It was short and sweet, and scheduled at the last minute, but it was nice to be able to ‘check in’ like that with each other—to see each other’s face and know by the look in their eyes, the way that friends know—that we were ok or not. In this crazy, busy world, it’s good to have a friend say they care, even if they can’t reach out and hug you. The Skype session serves as a virtual hug of sorts.
There are lots of other uses for Skype. Spend ten minutes on the Skype blog and you’ll see teachers incorporating it into their classrooms, parents checking in with their college students (my son barely tolerates texting with me, so I’m jealous of the moms who get to Skype with their kiddos), and long distance loves keeping their relationships alive through Skype. I know I would have loved this option over the expensive long distance phone bills I endured when my boyfriend moved far away back in my early 20’s.
It’s so simple to Skype, too. You just need a computer, tablet or cell phone, an Internet connection and a Skype account. It’s free and easy to set up. And it’s a great substitute for an expensive flight when what you want most is a visit with a friend.