Staying in Touch Through Skype
Trying to maintain close ties with loved ones across the miles is hard. With the introduction of new technology, however, it's getting easier all the time! Here are a few tips for staying in touch with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even far-flung college students through Skype™.
- Skype™ is a free, simple to use, web-based service that allows you to make and receive video calls via the internet! Not only do grandma and grandpa get to hear the grandkids' sweet voices—they can actually see them as they grow and change at the speed of light. Here's what you need to know.
- Both parties will need a computer with an internet connection and a web cam. Many laptops come with webcams built-in. If your computer doesn't have one, it's a simple add-on that is fairly inexpensive (they start at around $20 and are available wherever computer accessories are sold).
- You simply log onto www.skype.com and click "Get Skype" then choose between Skype Windows, Skype phone or Skype TV. Just click "download," and the computer downloads and installs the video calling program---voilà! You're ready to enjoy face-to-face communication with anyone else on Skype™!
- If you're setting up Skype™ to enhance communication between grandchildren and tech-resistant grandparents, you might set up their computer on your next visit. Don't forget to include setting up family contacts in the program. Then walk them through placing and receiving a call while you're there to provide guidance or assistance. It's really not complicated—if they can send and receive email, they can Skype™.
- Once everyone is on board, you can set up regular video-calling dates to show off important things like new hamsters, missing teeth, and boo-boos.
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