Magazine topic: 
Science and technology
Total votes: 97

Skype: more important than it looks

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by : 
JenniferO

My computer desktop is a bit like my handbag: it’s full of things I either don’t need or don’t use, it looks untidy, and I’m not quite sure where a lot of the stuff has come from. Looking at my desktop now, I can see, for example, a programme called ‘Easy Network Manager’ (no idea what that is), one called ‘DivX Movies’ (never used it), and a Microsoft Word document called ‘romeo_and_juliet’ (probably something I wrote at university and accidentally saved onto my desktop rather than somewhere more logical). Mixed up with all the rubbish, there are, however, one or two very important programmes – programmes which I feel even have a central role in my life. To go back to my handbag, these programmes would be the equivalent of my house keys and purse.  They are the things which I use on a daily basis, and which I would be most upset about losing. One of the programmes I am talking about is Skype. The big, friendly ‘S’ has sat quietly at the bottom of my desktop since around 2009. And I am quite certain that it has changed my life.

I first realised the importance of Skype when I was in my third year of university. I had just moved to Germany for my ‘year abroad’, and it was my first long period of time outside the UK. About a week after I had arrived, I received a text message from one of my best friends saying that she was very upset and needed to talk to me. I remember rushing out of my flat with a 20 euro note trying to find a shop that would change it into coins so that I could call her from a payphone. When I finally had the coins, I still only managed to speak to her for around fifteen minutes. Payphones are expensive! Now that I have Skype, I no longer experience situations like that. I still live in Germany, and I know that I can talk to my family and friends whenever I need to, for as long as I want, for free. It’s extremely reassuring.

It seems to me that Skype is a bit of an underdog in the world of technology. It’s pretty normal to talk about Facebook, Twitter and Google, but you don’t tend to hear people on the bus talking about ‘that amazing conversation’ they had on Skype, or how Skype ‘affects the way we interact socially’ with our fellow humans. Probably this is because Skype is more of a private place than a public one: we don’t use it to show off or to follow celebrities, we use it to stay in touch with our loved ones.

Skype has also become a useful tool in the work place. Sometimes it is used for interviews – especially when companies are recruiting internationally, or when it would be very expensive for the candidate to travel for the interview. It can also be used for video conferences or even within offices themselves instead of regular telephones with extension numbers. This is particularly the case for younger, ‘trendier’ companies – the kind of offices who want to come across modern, flexible, approachable.

And there are, of course, the long-distance relationships. When I asked a colleague recently how she managed to stay in touch with her Mexican boyfriend when she moved back to Germany, she replied simply: 'Skype!' And now they are married! There are certainly countless similar stories throughout the world of couples who have managed to stay together because of this programme. It’s probably been more successful than an internet dating site!

I can genuinely say that I would probably still be living in the UK if I did not have Skype. That white ‘S’ on the light blue, blobby-looking background has given me the freedom to live far away from my family and some of my friends because I know I can see their lovely faces and hear their voices almost any time. Whether it’s showing my parents around my new flat, looking at a friend’s latest hairstyle, or meeting my sister’s flatmates, Skype lets me into the lives and homes of the people I love. Just like my keys.

Discussion

What's the most important icon on your computer desktop?
Do you use Skype? Do you think it's important?

Comments

Themis_LoL's picture
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Themis_LoL 30 March, 2015 - 18:06

Skype is one of the more important programms! Via skype I can talk to my friends and family!!

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23 users have voted.
AterTAurus's picture
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AterTAurus 29 April, 2014 - 16:48

skype is very important 'cause you can do calls or video calls for free everywhere you are.

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17 users have voted.
Lyl's picture
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Lyl 10 January, 2014 - 11:04

I always use skype and I think that is a very smart programme. I have a long distance relationship so skype for me is essencial, I can see the face and talk to the person I love whenever I want and it's so much better than only talk by phone..There is also the app for the smart phones so I can use it even when I'm not at home.

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25 users have voted.
Henry's picture
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Henry 5 January, 2014 - 10:32

I use skype a lot like all my friends and we always talks each other when we are in differents houses and often we plays videogames online talking on Skype.

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26 users have voted.
Yassine's picture
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Yassine 13 November, 2013 - 20:12

Hi Jennifer!
Well, my parents have travelled in lots of country for weeks, when i was just 14. So I missed them too much. And I don't know how i would had felt if I didn't use skype, for me, i think its important, but after i read your article, i think that i really share your point of view : "Skype: more important than it looks".
Thank you.
Ps: Sorry if there are some mistakes :)

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23 users have voted.
Stela.Murati's picture
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Stela.Murati 17 September, 2013 - 18:29

thank you very very very much jo editor ...the school started and my english is improving........thanks for the dictionary i use it almost every single day and it is much more helpful than "google translate".......thanks again and by the way I ADORE THIS WONDERFUL SITE .....greetings to albania...........have a nice week :)

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21 users have voted.
Stela.Murati's picture
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Stela.Murati 11 September, 2013 - 09:59

hi jo editor! sorry for bothering you ,but i have to make a very important question.long time ago,wen i was at school (before my summer holidays began) i used to work with the dictionary ,cuz i learn english and sometimes we have to translate the words english-english ..i haven't bought a dictionary english-english ,but at this wonderful site i used to work with the dictionary that was right of the page ....i think it was called cambridge dictionary and it was very helpful..........can you pleaseeee turn it back ,cuz the school is about to start and i dont think i have any chance to buy a dictionary...or at least tell what happened to it............ i hope i didn't bother you ,but it was very important and i couldn't let it go.......sorry again ...best wishes and greetings from albania .......stella

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20 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 12 September, 2013 - 08:36

Hi Stela, 
You're right - the dictionary only appears now in our Magazine section, on the right-hand side of the pages. When we made changes to the site the title is now white so you can't see it so well. We'll fix that. I will try to put the dictionary back onto the whole website. It's great that you find it useful. The Cambridge online dictionary is free to everyone so you can always use their site in another window as you're working on activities on our website. The address is: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ 
Good luck with your studies! Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

 

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23 users have voted.
Columnar's picture
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Columnar 24 August, 2013 - 16:08

Skype is very important now in my daily life, as i use it almost everyday to talk to my friends and family

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24 users have voted.
marikuna121's picture
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marikuna121 18 June, 2013 - 17:51

In my computer desktop many important icons, but for me most important is my own browser "torch". Of course, I use skype, exatly very often, It's important I think for everyone..

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17 users have voted.
ledothangxd's picture
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ledothangxd 17 June, 2013 - 18:05

I think that Skype is very useful for people. I always use it to talk with foreigner in order to improve my English skills. I can use it to contact with my friends. Skype is more convenient, cheaper than telephone. There aren't different distance, space on the world... whenever we use Skype. Nowadays there are a lot of sites like: Facebook, Google...They being made reduce value Skype. However, it is a popular software on the world. I enjoy it.

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19 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 3 June, 2013 - 14:47

For the moment the most important for me is Microsoft Excel, because I am doing some important accounts for my mother.
I don't use SKYPE, because I think that for me is just a waste of time.

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21 users have voted.
sailor moon's picture
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sailor moon 1 June, 2013 - 17:14

my computer desctop is not messy cause i have organized all my doc.
the icon that i mostly use is Google Chrome but Skype is also very important for me
My skype starts when my computer starts so i`m online when my computer is open
I use Skype to talk with my relatives in America, Greece and Italy
Thank you for this topic it is so cool :)

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25 users have voted.
Lavender's picture
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Lavender 1 June, 2013 - 15:39

With my friends who live near me, I usually call them for a short time or text to them if I want something to tell them. But with my friends who live very far from me (I have some who moved away), I want to talk with them but I can't meet them so I use Skype. It is the best and cheapest way. At first, Skype seemed very useful. We could both talk and see our faces. But sometimes seeing their faces distracted me from hearing what they were saying :( Then the time was passing and I found out Skype was not ALL for making friends more intimate. My life and my friends' lives are separate now because we live in different cities, we don't study at the same school. Therefore we have less thing in common, that means less topics to share. But I still love Skype because at least it make us don't forget each other.

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25 users have voted.
Free4ever's picture
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Free4ever 28 May, 2013 - 17:43

I always use SKYPE because it's very important ,I use it to talk with my friends.

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19 users have voted.
Altin's picture
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Altin 17 October, 2013 - 17:53

I use to talk with my best friend from Greece and my cousins in USA almost everyday.In my opinion Skype is a very good stuff in online communication....!!!!!

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17 users have voted.
Phillipe's picture
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Phillipe 27 May, 2013 - 12:04

I think Skype is just a new web page , its good for the computer but for the celular is a boring thing, all you can do is call people numbers .I enjoy Microsoft , Outlook is better

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16 users have voted.
otarsichinava's picture
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otarsichinava 24 May, 2013 - 07:39

hi everyone , i am from Georgia.
Skype is very important for me, I use it everyday, I talking to my friends, with my brother, he live in london. Skype is very easy to use. i think skype is better than windows massenger or yahoo ETC. skype has one of the best vedeo call, and very lovly ''smile''. it have more options, for example you can call to mobile, if you registred your visa card. and pay some money

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20 users have voted.
KLEA B's picture
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KLEA B 21 May, 2013 - 18:42

I use the skype and for me is very important because i speak everyday with my cousins in America.

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21 users have voted.
lili's picture
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lili 19 May, 2013 - 07:35

Hey i think that Skype is very important becouse you can talk with ur family,friends that are away.I use skype i can talk with my familiars cuz i'm in Albania and they are in England.Ireland,Greece etc it helps me a lot cuz it have been years,months since i have last met them and i miss them<3 :'(

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27 users have voted.
sailor moon's picture
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sailor moon 18 May, 2013 - 21:26

i think SKYPE is so important
it helps me to talk with my friends and familiars

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25 users have voted.
otarsichinava's picture
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otarsichinava 16 May, 2013 - 15:47

Skype is very important to me, I use it everyday, I talk to my friends, with my family. it is a very easy to use, and every year it does better. and i think it is a better than windows messenger , yahoo massenger ETC.

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18 users have voted.
Zhazira's picture
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Zhazira 16 May, 2013 - 15:05

Thanks for quite interesting article!
As for me, skype is one of the most useful soft wares .I also use Skype. Every time i come home the first thing I do is to turn on WiFi on my smartphone and switch on Skype. During the whole day I keep it on as i have some relatives and friends living abroad. And because of the huge difference in time they can call me at late night…But communicating with friends and everyone who is close to you is definitely worth than sleeping, isn`t it?Skype is really eased our life, we don`t need to write letters, wait for answers etc. And I`m really delighted that Niklas Zennstorm and Janus Friis have invented Skype. Big Thumb UP FOR YOU! Skype lets me keep in touch with my elder brother, who i adore and respect most in my life. We can talk to each other for hours even use a webcam and that`s all almost for free. It`s like a gift for us=)
And a few words for those who don't think that skype is very useful. You don't underestimate it probably because you don, t have anyone far away from you... once you will understand what skype means for those who miss someone. .

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24 users have voted.
Aminat's picture
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Aminat 16 May, 2013 - 13:04

I want to say that Skype is very important for me.And Skype's icon is one of the most important on my desktop.I'm very grateful to the creator of this program.I've been using Skype when my own sister moved to another town to live.skype was the only way to see her.Skype helps me to talk with my sister at any time.So I can say that Skype is really important program in our life.

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22 users have voted.
izzah's picture
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izzah 17 April, 2013 - 20:31

hi...! everyone i m new to dis website nd i liked it alot! yup evn i m usng skype since last year and i found it very save and secure and i use it to talk wid my best friend my family members who r really far frm me! i think skype is really a good website and i m really stick to it:p

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22 users have voted.
Salliko's picture
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Salliko 5 April, 2013 - 17:43

hi :)
I almost don't use skype,but I think that skype is very good if you have somebody abroad,you can see her and talk.Usually I prefer facebook :)

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17 users have voted.
ika's picture
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ika 3 April, 2013 - 13:26

The most important icon on my computer desktop is Opera icon. I don't use skype.very often i use it only when i want to send or receive some documents or files. but i think it's one of the best intant masseging programme.

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22 users have voted.
kkhatia.o's picture
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kkhatia.o 3 April, 2013 - 09:09

My computer desktop is always tidy.There are programmes I use very often. For example: music folder, picture folder,web browsers, a picture of my schedule, rubbish bin and of course Skype.

I've been using Skype scince I was seventeen when my best friend Ann moved to another town to live and we couldn't see each other for a long time. It was very difficult period of my life,I had lots of problems and I needed share problems with my friend Ann because she was only person I could rely on. so Skype became my friend because it was the way I saw my close friend and share my happyness or sadness.
Besides this I used to call my mom when she was abroad.
So I can definetely say that Skype is very important thing in our lives.

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27 users have voted.
IreBopp's picture
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IreBopp 2 April, 2013 - 18:56

My most important icon on my desktop is absolutly Skype's icon! I use Skype very much because it's a very quickly way to communicate with my far friends or relatives!!! ;)

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20 users have voted.
lazishvili's picture
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lazishvili 1 April, 2013 - 10:27

The most important icon on my desktop is my music, games and Microsoft office. I use skype,but not very often.It is important for any person.it helps me to contact relatives and friends.send to pictures and speak with microphone and video.

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20 users have voted.
marikuna121's picture
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marikuna121 31 March, 2013 - 10:53

skype is very important for me, It helps me to contact with friends, who now are living in the anothere country, I don't use skype very often , but when I need it , it helps me do important things for me.

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18 users have voted.
malika751's picture
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malika751 27 March, 2013 - 11:13

I use Skype but not very often, only when i go abroad or to the another city.
I also had used twitter but then I understood that its not good social website for me. it took too much free time of mine and in my opinion its not very usefull in my country. I live in Kazakhstan and the most popular social website here is vkontakte and maybe facebook. and Instagram!:) yes, Instagram is getting more popular every day: everyone posts pics of him, his friends, things he loves or buys and I use it too:)

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17 users have voted.
sity of good's picture
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sity of good 25 March, 2013 - 15:02

Hello
To begin with i'd like to say that i'm a person who likes when everything is in order,i can't stand when there is turmoil around me,therefore i always try to have my desktop in order.
You can see only the most important icon on my desktop which is very necessary to me,for example Microsoft Office Word 2007,PowerPoint 2007,Excel 2007 also Facebook,Skype and Google.I use this programs for my daily business.
When i want to write essay i always use Microsoft word 2007,sometimes i need to find information about some issue so Google is the great way to find what i need to.
And what about Skype?Nowadays Skype is the most popular way to find your old friends or business colleagues,probably all of us have relatives in abroad and sometimes we want to talk to them but this is a bit difficult because talking on the phone is quite expensive so the best way to have contact with them is the Skype.
Unfortunately i don't have many free time,i'm always busy because of my studies but i always try to have regularly contact with my friends and relatives who are not in Georgia.

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19 users have voted.

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