Time and Space on Skype: Families Experience Togetherness While Apart | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 10, Issue 3-4
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717


Skype, a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) system, allows people to communicate through text, audio, and visual exchanges across short or great distances. At less than a decade old, it hosts the interaction of as many as 30 million people at one time (Skype, 2011). Its services, some free and others for fee-based, are especially valuable to fragmented families. This is despite the limits of technology to truly allow for "being" and "keeping" in touch while apart. Skype may create the illusion of being together because it brings distant sounds and images closer. However, it also may simultaneously emphasize the distance between people. The screen that draws us together also may keep us apart. Through phenomenology, the researcher presents some facets of the Skype experience. Particular attention is given to how families encounter time and space using a technology designed to overcome distant time and distant space.


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