The Comfort of Skype

For a long time, I avoided Skype. I thought it was just going to create more “noise” in my inbox. It’s hard enough to concentrate as it is.

But then I started working with a couple of candidates in the UK and it seemed like the best option for communicating with them. It worked very well. I could see when they were online and they could see when I was online. It was nice to eliminate the trans-ocean phone tag.

Over the course of this process, I reached out to a couple of friends and former coworkers who have moved overseas. We were still in touch but the connection was not the same as it used to be. Time zones, meetings and family stuff made it difficult to find time to talk that did not entail someone staying up way too late.

Now I have a few friends on Skype. Not fifty gazillion, just a few and it is the coolest thing. I see when they come online and they can see me. It does not mean that we have to have a long and meaningful talk. We just see each other.

It’s a bit like passing a friendly colleague (as opposed to the flakey, rude or otherwise annoying ones) in the hall on the way to get coffee. Even if you are in a hurry, you nod and make eye contact. If you have a minute or you have some news, you stop and talk but otherwise, you just keep going, safe in the knowledge that the connection is still there and real.

Skype is the same. It’s like passing my trans-Atlantic friends in the hall and there is comfort in that.

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