Brianna Petersen

Skype it

It seems like the impossible keeps being done.  Back when telephones were first invented no one ever thought they would ever be able to call someone from their car or even the airplane.  Just like when cell phones came out no one (well, at least most) didn’t think actually viewing the person in real time while you were talking to them would happen so fast.  But technology has worked its wonders yet again and we now have multiple options for real time view/talk.  One of these options (and possibly the most popular) is Skype.

Until this year I hadn’t had any experience with this cool new thing called Skype.  But it seemed as if once I became familiar with it so did everyone else and I started hearing about everyone “Skyping in,” from my roommates’ family to my professor.  It’s become a handy tool for those who live far away or are on trips and can be used for anything from social to professional reasons.

Of course the advantages of being able to chat with your great aunt back east and see her new cats is one way to use Skype, but what about the business world?  Would it really fill a need THAT important?  According to a couple articles I found, apparently so.

In an article, 5 Tips for Utilizing Skype For Business, Mashable outlines five really cool features of Skype that I had no idea existed.  You can download Skype extras, forward Skype calls to your cell phone, “check in on the house/pets while you’re away” by having two separate accounts, use it as a customer service tool, and even use screen sharing.  With the screen sharing feature “…you can share your computer screen with the person on the other end of the video call. It’s an ideal way to remotely give presentations, show code to another programmer and show others what’s currently in your browser.”

In another article called Pros and Cons of Skype for Business it talks about the amount of money Skype can save.  Skype is free where as phones cost money and, let’s get real, actually being able to, in a sense, talk face to face with the person on the other end of the line is a lot more appealing.  It’s like infotainment watching your important business meeting on TV.  The only problem is it’s not as convenient as a phone.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few years all our calls are based off something similar to Skype.

The article also talks about the possible cons to this virtual phone call world.  What could possibly be a con to this new wonderful piece of technology you ask?  Well there are not many issues, and they are similar to those that have been brought up ever since emailing became popular: lack of personal interaction.  With all these new cool cyber gadgets there has been rising concern that people are losing their ability to communicate face to face (for real).  We’re becoming lazy and our attention spans and patience fuses are shortening.  I’ve often wondered about this myself and I still prefer to deal with people in person but technology has made it so easy to connect instantly online and through phone lines that it’s impossible to avoid completely.  Although the concern has merit, the benefits (especially of convenience) outweigh the costs and this is where society is going.  Welcome to the future.

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