Today, I skyped with my first year roommate. First and foremost, I would like to thank the inventors of laptops, webcams, microphones and Skype for making it possible for me to be able to stay in touch with my loved ones that are not with me.
I won’t lie to you, I have never been a big fan of Skype. When I went to university it was the cool thing to download, so that we could all stay in touch. I hated Skype with a passion. I can not tell you the number of times I pulled the old “Oh my god! I miss you so much too! We have to Skype soon!” and then laughed to myself because in reality I knew I would never go through with it. Skype turned me into a flake. It wasn’t anything to do with whether or not I liked people, I swear, I just really don’t like the concept. At least if you are on the phone and there is an awkward silence you can do something else without the other person knowing, while still answering with the occasional “mhmm” or “is that right”. On Skype, you can do no such thing, because everyone can see you! To build on that, I do not understand how one would expect me (someone with the attention span of a two year old) to be able to be on a machine that has an unlimited ability for me to multitask and expect me to ignore all of that and stare at your face for an ungodly amount of time. It has never made sense to me and it never will. I skyped my parents after my first week of being away, and within ten minutes I told them to only call me from now on and never use this face-to-computer contact system again. They obviously thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread, but nevertheless they followed my rules and only contacted me by phone from then on.
I do not know if it is the fact that I have better friendships now with people or if it is because they are farther away but there are a few people over the last few years that have made me truly appreciate the Skype call. This elite group, that allow me to ignore my annoyance over whatever I am doing on my computer to be interrupted by the beeping of a video call, will probably never truly understand how much they mean to me (unless of course they read this post). If I have never Skyped you, please don’t take that fact personally, usually the main credential for me to participate is I have known you for over 5 years, you are overseas or you are my one of my best friends. Ninety percent of the time, you need to have 2/3 at least to even be considered and even then you will have to call me first. But regardless, I have grown into a new and more appreciative relationship with Skype.
Two of my closest friends are on exchange and Skype has allowed me to stay connected with them. Extreme measures must be taken in order to replace weekly girl’s nights and coffee dates when certain people are halfway across the world. It also helps to see a face when sharing your deepest darkest secrets or at least a story about your latest crush. In this way, Skype has also allowed me to use my internet connection to fuel my jealously over previously mentioned friend’s exciting travels and fun nights at beach foam parties as I lay in bed cocooned into my parka in -30 degrees wishing I was there. But in all seriousness, I don’t know what I would do without the means to catch up and hear all about the lives of those who mean the most to me. Also, shout out to WhatsApp for allowing me to constantly bombard my friends all over the world with minute-to-minute updates on my life, I love you WhatsApp.
Skype also helps me to keep in touch with my other good friends who are not SUPER far away, but far enough for me to miss them. While I sit at home in my small town figuring out what I am going to do with my life, I can keep up with my friends at school and hear about all the drama. I can also see my best friends from home who have left to go back to semesters at their own schools. It almost makes me feel like a grandma or aunt at Christmas dinner, having a quick 20-minute catch-up on all that has been going on in the lives of my important people, but it is better than not knowing at all.
In the last couple years, I have come to realize the importance of good friends. You come across a lot of people in your life and I recently learned that you need to keep an eye out for the special ones. People that you can have an amazing time with either laughing or crying. When you find those special people, the ones that you want to keep–you will be willing to do whatever it takes to stay in touch, and for that I have found a reason for Skype.
Skype– it’s not you, it’s me, I’m sorry… I like you as a friend now, please forgive me.