(Video link here.) This video promotion for Skype is really great, sweet, and real, and a fine example of just how deeply this technology can connect us.  I-CAN,  the International Child Amputee Network, brought Sarah and Paige together when they were young. Skype enabled them to become friends and a form unique support system for one another despite living a world apart.

It reminded me of the ways I’ve used Skype and FaceTime over the years, and how “virtual” really CAN allow us to “be there”. From my Harlem apartment I’ve…

… had tea with my dear friend Peggy Markel in Florence, Sicily, Morocco and India, where she guides people deeply through their food and culture…

….had dinner with artist Fern Berman in Connecticut…

… demo’d cooking techniques to various friends who were just learning to cook…and taken a look at their creations when they were anxious, to reassure them that their cake had risen properly, and when their onions were properly caramelized…

…toured a client’s Brooklyn apartment while listening to what she wanted it to do but didn’t know where to start, so I could advise her on simple changes that would help her achieve her goal.

…had a big, unexpected conversation with a friend having coffee at dawn in a garden in Hawaii….


A friend FaceTimed me details of her apartment renovation as it was happening, to get instant feedback and reassurance.


It made me think that Harriet Bell’s “phone tails”  with friends might evolve a step into cocktail hours via Skype.


Improvised Life contributor David Saltman has taught esoteric Chinese healing practices to a doctor in India, and regularly Skypes with his students of chi gong and tai chi who want to brush up on some moves.


I know a doctor who has been experimenting using Skype to help diagnose patients who can’t come to see him, while conferring with their local doctors.


Since Skype seems applicable to many life situations, I googled ‘skype dying’ and found the story of a man who’d been able to be with his father as he declined from cancer — “We just looked at each other for quite some time without any words” — in the times when he was unable to visit in person (which he a lot of as well). I also found many Skype births, military fathers deployed in Afganistan able to be with their wives.


Stacey Petersen
Stacey Petersen

We’d love to know some of the unexpected uses you’ve found for Skype and FaceTime.


via The Dish; bottom photo Stacey Petersen Photography

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2 replies on “skype is a tool for learning, helping, teaching, connecting

  1. My sister, Barbara Beerstein, is an arts management-development consultant in Santa Cruz, CA, where I am for Thanksgiving. She is also an accomplished flautist. I watched her yesterday log-on to Skype to give a flute lesson to a friend and new student, Janet Chavez Santiago, in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. It was their second Sunday afternoon lesson. Janet always wanted to play the flute and Barbara made it possible, gifting her with a student flute and lessons. I watched as Janet picked up her flute in Mexico, and Barbara instructing her how to blow from northern California. It was miraculous and so satisfying. Skype can help make dreams comes true.

  2. Beautiful story. Oaxaca —> Santa Cruz. A dream coming true. Thanks!

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