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Feb 11, 2012

Can’t See Your Loved One This Valentine’s Day? Video Calling Still Makes It Possible

Valentine’s Day was so much easier as a kid! You made or bought cards for your family and friends, your parents bought some candy for you to pass out, and, if you were lucky, you came away from it all with a few cards and a boat-load of sugary sweets.

But the older we get, the more difficult it is to communicate with our loved ones over holidays like Valentine’s Day or other special events, such as anniversaries and birthdays. And if a holiday or special event falls on a workday – but it’s not a national holiday – then chances are, you’ll be spending the day at work instead of with your loved ones.


However, you don’t have to spend it alone, thanks to advances in telecommunications technology. Video conferencing, video chat and Voice over Internet Protocol technology means you can still celebrate that special day, even if you’re thousands of miles away from you loved ones.

Smile! You’re on Webcam

Video conferencing has been around in some form or fashion longer than most people realize. Typically used to connect groups of people in multiple locations, video conferencing can be done from the comfort of your personal computer. 

All you need is an Internet connection (high-speed Internet connection for easier access), web conferencing software, a Webcam or video conferencing equipment, and some computer speakers. Most computers, home and office, have the needed tools for Web conferencing through existing browsers. 

The software and equipment is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. It’s also much cheaper than a plane ticket.

Forget Texting. Video Chat from your Phone

Even if you’re thousands of miles away or stuck in business meetings all day, your loved one still expects you to carve out some time for him or her on Valentine’s Day – and you can forget about the thoughtful text or email. 

So if you can’t be there in person, cell phone video chat might be the next best thing – and advancements in mobile technology makes that easier, regardless of who your cell phone provider is. For example, if you’re using a Verizon product, while your girlfriend is on T-Mobile, there are now dozens of apps that allow you to video chat with people who are using different networks. 

VoIP Technology from the Comfort of your Home

Businesses have been using Voice over Internet Protocol for several years now because it helps save money on long-distance charges, among other reasons. With VoIP, your phone works over the Internet instead of traditional phone lines. 

But you don’t have to work at a Fortune 500 company to utilize the same technology. Programs like Skype use VoIP technology, as long as you’re connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN). Skype offers free calls for subscribers and low-cost calls for others, and you can also transfer files, text, video chat and videoconference with Skype. You can use that and similar programs on your personal computer or any of your mobile devices.

With today’s technologies, distance doesn’t have to separate you from your loved ones. Take a look at what phone system functionalities are available that will allow you to stay connected, no matter the physical distance separating you.

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