I’ll begin with this conversation from mymomisafob.com:
“mom (on the phone w/ my dad): how come i cant find u on SKY-PEE?
mom: how come i cant find u on SKY-PEE?
me: he wont understand u. its Skype.
dad: SKY-PEE. u mean Skip.”
(if you haven’t checked out mymomisafob.com, go. Readers submit stories of ridiculous-but-true anecdotes of fobby things their asian parents say, it’s hi-larious and endearing. The mydadisafob.com counterpart is equally adorable, maybe more so b/c asian dads say the darndest things)
I’ve been relying on Skype heavily to chat with my mom and bf, both of whom are overseas. I log on, fill up my account using CC, and then dial straight to their cell phones for 2 cents a minute. 2 cents – that’s less than the cost of a text message! An hour of chatting only ate up a little over $1 of my account. That means I didn’t have to squeeze everything into the Twitter equivalent of 140 characters (Good, becuase I like talking).
What’s also really helpful is that in Skype, you just choose the country you’re trying to call from a drop down menu, and input the local number. No need to figure out what the country code and region code is, and if calling a cell phone means you can eliminate the region code. I had to figure that out before when using a calling card, which was pretty confusing.
Skype started off as a voice-over IP service providing users with free telephone calls via the Internet. Later, it expanded to allow users to dial computer-to-mobile at cheap rates (like 2 cents a minute!), and now, the newly set up iPhone Skype application essentially lets users call mobile-to-mobile. The webcam features also enable video conferencing, and I know of many organizations and businesses who use Skype to communicate across geographies at group meetings and brainstorming sessions. Technology evolution rocks!
To date, this is the biggest foe of telephone networks. Well, first it was the cellphone that made landlines archaic. (Sidenote: does anyone even use landlines anymore? Maybe when my friends get their own apartments…) Now, it’s Skype that’s got the networks sweating. And for good reason… No longer are customers confined to making calls during their free minutes, they can use the webcam to see the other person on the line, and it’s cheap!
Skype, Skip, Sky-Pee, no matter how it’s pronounced, this is one application that I know will continue to challenge past ideas of how people communicate.