Grandparenting via Skype

Here’s a fun broadband story for Mother’s Day. It comes from Mary in Two Harbors, Minnesota. She gets her service from Frontier Communications. Mary was kind enough to send me her story…

We are new proud grandparents of two granddaughters who were born two months apart less than a year ago. One lives in Hershey, PA and the other in Rapid City, SD, with their parents. Needless to say, due to the physical distance, we are unable to hold and love them often. However, thanks to high-speed Internet, the SKYPE program–downloaded at no cost to us on our home computer, and the cost of a $30.00 web cam, we are able to see “our babies” almost nightly. (We’re concerned they think we live in a white box or black box, as the case may be!)

They are now at an age where they hear the ring of the SKYPE “phone”, and parents say they break into a smile—yup, that warms our heart! We excitedly wait for a response to peek-a-boo, patty-cake, by/by, and sooooooooooo big —even Grandpa gets into the act. We love watching them exercise in their jumper, eat their first morsels of solid food or lying on the floor playing with their feet. With the ease of the portable Laptop, parents are able to move the computer to wherever they are—even when they’re flat on the floor demonstrating their first attempts at crawling.

I love reading a story to them—either at bed-time, while at play, or when mom or dad need a “break”. Believe it or not, we run out of things to say. We desperately want them to recognize our voice, so what better way to accomplish it than by reading to them!!!! Not to mention all the other benefits of being read to!!!

As I said, we are so grateful to have broadband access!!!!!

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, MN, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

2 thoughts on “Grandparenting via Skype

  1. Absolutely *love* these sorts of stories.

    Ever since I read “Death of Distance” by Frances Cairncross in the late 1990’s, I’ve been a believer that increasingly better devices (e.g., webcams) and the ubiquity of broadband (i.e., FAST broadband with decent upload speeds) would slowly-but-surely compress distance until we’d be able to stay connected regardless of where we happen to be geographically on our planet.

    Our neighbors across the street were in their driveway one day saying goodbye to their son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons (one of whom was a baby) as they were departing for a 2 year stint to London.

    Since I care for these people and thought about how these little ones would change dramatically over a 2 year period — and Grandpa and Grandma would miss out on so much and the boys not gaining a close connection with them — I sort of stepped out of bounds a bit and evangelized Skype. Trying it out, my neighbors ended up setting a weekly “call” over webcams (between Eden Prairie and London) on a Sunday (at 1pm for them and before bedtime for the boys in London) and stayed in very close touch the entire time they were there.

    Yet another reason why synchronous broadband is an imperative throughout Minnesota.

  2. Thanks Steve. I love these too. Think of what a difference you made to your neighbors in London. Last year we lived in Dublin and I know our family blog and Skype were my lifeline home. I pretend like it was for the kids – but it was really me who needed the occasional 20 minute conversation with family and friends back home. It’s a luxury that was impossibly expensive when I lived there 15 years ago.

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