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“Tech Talk: Stay Together with Skype”

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I woke up today feeling like it was any other day. If it weren’t for my daughter reminding me I would have forgotten entirely. “Good morning!” she said with an anticipatory grin. “Happy 30th Birthday!”. “Oh no”, I thought. How could it be. Had it come already? We started the day just as planned. A nice relaxing day at home with the family. It was about 10am when the first phone call came through, it was my mother.

It was nice to hear from her. She lives in Jacksonville, which is absolutely one of the coolest towns I have been in. It’s an awesome place with a wonderful music scene, a lot of great art and a local culture that keeps you busy and entertained. We usually talk about once a week. She wishes me a “Happy birthday” and we share our stories of what has been going on since we last talked. I am glad to hear all is well and I return back to my leisurely birthday morning.

“Your phone is ringing again”, I am told. This time is it my oldest sister. I am surprised that she remembered my birthday, but pleased to hear from her none the less. She is finishing up her last year in college in Tennessee. There is a lot I admire about her, and being my oldest, I share a lot of memories from when she was younger that really warm my heart. I am so proud of her and all the work she does while still maintaining such a free spirit.

“Hello!” I answer excitedly. Without hesitation she starts singing me a happy birthday song in the national language of Pakistan. Although I don’t understand a word of it, I am impressed by her fluency and the sentiment is still very much the same. I am glad to be able to keep in touch with my siblings that live in various places around the United States, and lucky such technology exists that we are right at each others fingertips.

The family that I have locally, a pair of Grandparents whom have always been a large part of my life meet up for an early dinner. I still can’t believe that I am 30 years old! During the dinner I receive a text message from my brother in Atlanta. It’s short and sweet, but I am even more surprised that he remembered this special day. He is, what I could only describe as a computer genius, mostly because I have no other understanding of what he does! Programming this, programming that, and in his spare time is in a rather proficient heavy metal band. He is a great guy, and I regret not being able to spend more time with him. He takes after his father in the regard that he is an absolute workaholic, and while pretty virtuous, I still would like to see him let loose for a weekend, on a vacation where he visits his older brother and enjoys a cocktail or two.

Dinner was fantastic and I came back home to wrap up my day and have a little birthday pie. It’s become tradition for me to have pie instead of cake on my birthday, and my favorite is a Floridian treat known as the key lime. It’s heavenly and the perfect way to wrap up a day.

Before I turn in for the evening, My two youngest, and high-school aged sisters skype with me and say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”, luckily I see them both a little more frequently and keep up with them on social media sites. They rib me a little bit and we laugh together, “So…do you feel any older” they giggle. “Just the same as I did yesterday” I reply. We enjoy a good conversation and its great to see them. A few more “you don’t look that old’s” and “you don’t have that many gray hairs” and we say our goodbyes.

Although my family is pretty spread out, and we don’t get to see each other as often as I’d like, I’m thankful to be able to stay in touch. It can feel challenging at times to maintain relationships from so far away, and I don’t know what we would do without technology in our hands to be able to call, text, email, and skype each other when we want to say hello.

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What’s your story?

Share your connection stories on the Stay Together site for a chance to win a $10,000 travel voucher.

Contest Details:
This is a skill Contest and the theme is “Stay Together.” The object is to best describe how you use Skype to stay in communication with faraway family and friends. Submitting your story makes you eligible for a chance to win a $10,000 United Airlines travel gift certificate, and the winner will be featured in a Skype Stay Together story (“Story”).” To learn more about how to enter, eligibility, winner determination and prizing please visit: http://skypestaytogether.com/official-rules/.

Entry Period: This Contest starts at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) on June 20, 2013 and ends at 11:59 pm PT on July 22, 2013 (“Entry Period”).

Compensation was provided by Skype via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Skype.

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