We're getting quite tired of marking essays that trivialize the the Internet by pointing out how convenient it is for us to keep in touch with our friends overseas, like as if it was a glorified telephone system and nothing more. Yet when we were Skyping Mel (she's now in ol' Blighty) from the staffroom today, that's more or less what we were doing.
The beauty of Skype and webcams is that despite the distance between us, we can still chat face-to-face. Our conversation was mostly about personal trivialities punctuated by much hand waving as various other staff passed by and realized who we were talking to. But we we were many and there was only one webcam so we were all a bit camera shy. While we could see Mel very well, she mostly saw parts of our faces, elbows, torsos and whatever else got thrust towards the lens for her closer inspection.
Best of all, our conversation was free-of-charge so the only time limitations we had to live by were our own busy schedules and not based on how much money-for-time we could afford to spend on her.
So now because of the Internet, Mel and HP could still potentially join us for breakfast even though they're thousands of miles away. They would both have to give up some sleep as there's a time-zone discrepancy (morning for us is bedtime for them) but with today's technology, it's so easy for Amy to carry down her laptop containing both their virtual heads and have them share, oh I dunno, omelettes and prawn noodles with us. It'll be like they'd never left!
I sense rolling eyeballs...