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April 07, 2010

Skype, Skype and Away

This is an old photo from last year's market but I thought it fit with the tone of this article, going where I haven't been
before in Skype-land.
Last night I downloaded Skype for the first time because I have a niece who has moved to Australia to do Graduate Studies and she sent me an e-mail suggesting it would be a good way to keep in touch.

There's nothing like being introduced to a new (to me) software/communication device to really make you feel ancient and out to lunch.

I think my niece is somewhere near Brisbane. Sadly, I really can't even recall where she is because it's all just a big blob of a vanilla ice-cream continent to me having never been there. I'd need a map even if she told me where she was to visualize where, geographically, exactly.

I didn't really know how to use it and like all of those who are foreign to complicated places - cockpits, operating rooms, radio stations - I had no idea what I was doing when I began to click on a variety of icons. Somehow I found her name - her pseudo name -  and I managed to connect and next thing I know her head, much bigger than I remember it,  has materialized on my laptop screen. I felt like it was the multimedia film noir version of Little Red Riding Hood. My megan, your head is so much bigger. Your teeth are so much whiter. She's laughing and whispering something. She has headphones on. 

There is a live person on my screen laughing with big white teeth who looks confusingly like her sister, my other niece, who isn't in Australia (she's in Maple Ridge) and who was born with jet-black Eskimo hair.

Hunched over, peering into my laptop, like I've just discovered an alien being in my bathroom,  I was staring as she was whispering something. "I'm in a library," she says to me, continuing to laugh. I was still confused. Why is Kim in a library in Brisbane? Have I connected accidentally to Kim in Maple Ridge? This was scaring me. How do I get off?  I dyed my hair she says. With black hair I look like Kim. I can't really talk, she says quietly. Oh, okay, I whisper back.

I stare back at her feeling very stressed, as if I, on the other side of the world, will suddenly have an Aussie librarian shusshing me, like I've interrupted the entire quietude of the University of Queensland library. I'm hunched over and I"m whispering into my laptop monitor feeling like a complete idiot, slightly annoyed, definitely experiencing some Grade A technological luddite angst.

Why has she answered my Skype request if she's in a library I think to myself (for God's sake). I mean, just because it's there doesn't mean you should do it now does it Meg?
What strange invasive software is this?

Ever since I downloaded Skype, the blue button on the top of my own laptop has sprung to electronic life. It's as if my own third eye in my forehead has been transplanted into an equivalent fluorescent one on my laptop. E.T. is that you?  

Is someone looking at me as I talk to myself right now wearing my rattiest bathrobe, my hair wet from a shower with a very pained and confused expression on my face?  What can they see? Who's they? I don't think I like this. I must read the instructions. I must check my Privacy controls. Until then, Skype off!


Megsy said...

HAAHAA!! I was laughing so hard I was also crying!!! I love how you write- I can actually hear you talking. I love you!

Susan said...

Gayle I can just see you! Haha! I've often thought we work at home folks could make a calendar like the fireman's calendar where we are just all slobby at our computers in pyjamas. Or we could make it a fund-raising and throw a little skin into it... hehe

Gayle Mavor said...

Wouldn't THAT be attractive. Just the other day I was thinking that I should make a calendar of Salt Spring Fashion Don'ts.