• Reduce homesickness with online video conferencing

    2010-02-25

    One of the hardest parts of living abroad is the inevitable feeling of isolation and homesickness that can come from leaving one's home for a new land. This is not unique to the person living abroad, as their friends and family will also be prone to feelings of unrest and longing. For families with loved ones living or working abroad, online video conferencing has become almost mandatory software.

    With a high-speed internet connection and a functioning webcam, families can now hold face-to-face conversations with each other from anywhere in the world. The service has grown increasingly popular in recent years with military families who seek to keep in contact with their loved ones in the field.

    Thanks to services like Google's G chat, Apple's iChat and the internet phone company Skype, these conversations can happen in real-time and for free.

    Video conferencing has a distinct advantage over more traditional phone conversations as seeing a familiar face to connect to a voice can be significantly more comforting. On long days when one feels particularly lonely, it's always reassuring to be able to see and speak to friends and loved ones.

    Users should be conscious of different time zones when chatting, as conversations can grow quite strained when it's 4 a.m. for one party and 2 p.m. for the other.

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