Nowadays technology has become an integral part of human life. The development of technology has affected many spheres of human activity, namely education and science, housekeeping, entertainment, the media, and communication. The increasing role of social media in human life is by all means an ambiguous issue. Globalization and dehumanization are the negative effects of the increasing role of social media in human life, while rapidness, covering the great distances, and user-friendly interface are the advantages of social and media networks. Skype is a computer program that offers its users a wide range of facilities, such as message and file exchange, video conferencing, and chat, which means that Skype enables the computer users to establish contacts in a fast and convenient way. However, the negative effects of social network and the media apply to Skype as well as a program providing the services for Internet communication, which is especially just when the issue concerns the excessive use of it. Without doubt, Skype is helpful in many spheres of human activities. It provides a wide range of facilities for immediate and effective communication, such as chat, message, voice message, file exchange, and video conferencing. Skype is beneficial for education and conducting business.
Considering the positive features of Skype as a social media networking tool for online communication, Tom Blanchard comments on the following ones: possibility, an option of smartphone, tablet PC adjustment to the number of applications and versions available, making and receiving phone calls. Skype is especially convenient when you travel abroad and have to stay in contact with someone. Skype program was invented in 2003 for the purposes of getting over the problems of online communication. ‚??Skype began as a free software program that could be used to connect people over the Internet, through text, voice, and/or video‚??. Skype is a free program, which means that the users do not have to pay for downloading Skype and running it; Skype is user-friendly, which means that it is easy to use; it is mobile, which means that it is possible to download Skype to smartphone or any other gadget equipped with front-facing camera, thus, a user can keep in touch wherever and whenever it is possible, necessary, and convenient. Moreover, Skype offers the possibility of direct communication. Mobility, simplicity, and multi-functionality are advantageous with regard to exchange of educational materials (tasks, exercises, electronic course books) and dealing with them.
Reflecting upon the issue of using Skype for educational purposes, Patricia Bruder informs of Skype in the Classroom service.
‚?¶targeted use of Skype can bring pedagogical benefits, whether it makes students
conduct research necessary for a video presentation more seriously, encourages
instructors to focus on broader concepts instead of individual problems because tracing
and fixing student work directly is more difficult, or exposes students and teachers to
real-time technology problem-solving.
Keith Ferrel from the Ed Tech Ideas admits the technocratic nature of modern society and states the fact that children should be prepared for integration into a modern technological world. Keith Ferrel admits the issue of technopanic, a groundless worry over the excessive use of technical tools and global networks. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, in her turn, distinguishes between the following options of applying Skype to education: broadening the outlook and developing social consciousness, staying in touch, reporting live/streaming from events and places, getting or sharing information about the nature of courses and exchange of materials, training oneself to speak in front of the audience, keeping in touch with the best qualified specialists in a particular sphere of knowledge, and communicating with the witnesses of some important event and/or associating with outstanding people. Operating the Skype program, students learn how to behave in front of the camera, how to use web-camera and microphone (which raises the student‚??s technological awareness), how to be convincing, how to visualize the ideas and thoughts, how to prevent the background obstructions (an issue of obstacles and how to deal with them). Thus, the students develop their scope, technological competence, train their artistic abilities, and learn how to overcome fears and be prepared to speak in front of the audience. Skype is also used for the purposes of
- career education, which occurs when parents introduce their children and children‚??s classmates;
- after-school help, which occurs when a student requires extra attention and/or care;
- student inclusion, which occurs when a student cannot visit classes because of illness;
- volunteering, which consists in establishing contacts between different schools for their students‚?? educational and cultural benefit.
Application of Skype in business sphere has some specific features. The peculiar features of Skype and its advantages in business sphere rest upon the same characteristics that were already mentioned, namely mobility, simplicity, and multi-functionality. One of the main advantages of Skype for business sphere is covering the great distances; the Skype program allows one to arrange a meeting or a video conference for people who live in different regions across the globe. Considering the issue of the benefits of Skype for small business, Gabriela Warren enumerates the following advantages of this program: price, ease of use, it is where you are, reliability, and call quality.
The issue of price means the following. If a person is using the Skype program for personal purposes, namely for interpersonal communication by means of making a Skype call to another user, this option is free. In this regard, the only negative feature Gabriela Warren admits is that a person can have a free video conference with one user at a time. According to Tom Blanchard, a yearly fee is ‚??of around $60,‚?? which means that paying this sum, a user is guaranteed to get a phone number assigned, which enables one to get the phone calls directly using a computer or smartphone application. Ease of use means that the Skype program is not difficult to download, install, and operate. Creators and developers of Skype service have already provided a number of versions for personal and office computers, laptops, tablet computers, and smartphones. Having downloaded Skype on a gadget, the only thing a person should do afterwards to run the program is to connect to the Internet. Skype is the latest tool based on Voice over IP technology. It is a mechanism that allows phone calling through the Internet. Being the latest creation in VoIP technologies, Skype offers its users good quality, which, in its turn, indicates professionalism. Skype services are improving constantly, and the customer‚??s demands, needs, and remarks are taken into consideration. Quality and professionalism are important in terms of establishing business contacts and carrying on business. Therefore, one can emphasize the quality of services provided by the Skype program. This way, the author justifies the idea of reliability of Skype program. Reliability is another important feature for establishing business contacts and running business.
The negative effects of Skype program are most noticeable as far as the issue of interpersonal communication is concerned. The negative effect of Skype on interpersonal communication consists in dehumanizing it. Communication is by all means an art; it is an art of motivating, encouraging, comforting others, an art of persuasion and reasoning. Motivation, encouraging, comforting, persuasion, and reasoning are the five possible ways of influencing the others. In the process of face-to-face communication each of these influences is expressed more vividly if compared to a distant online conversation. Face-to-face communication is more natural. Modernization and technological approach have made communication a means of entertainment. Communication, in its turn, is something far more important. Another thing which is more common among young people is that they become addicted to the Internet in general and social networks and the media in particular. Briefly, the only conclusion that can be made in regard to the negative effects of social networks and the media in general and Skype program in particular is that people should benefit from the time they spend in front of computers. It means that people should explore the Internet in order to get some information, but not just for entertaining purposes. That is why people should control themselves while exploring social networks and the media. When one understands the usefulness and helpfulness of Skype program, the negative impact of social networks and the media is reduced to zero. The only fact that matters is what people use social networks and the media for.
Taking all the aforementioned facts into consideration, it is possible to assume that Skype has already affected people‚??s life and interactions. The issue has both positive and negative aspects. The negative effects of Skype, a tool for online communication, are especially just when the issue concerns the excessive use of it. Positive features of Skype as a social media networking tool mostly deal with education and business. Skype is beneficial for both business and education because it is easy to use, accessible (available for free), and reliable. It saves time and efforts while organizing a meeting or conference and makes distance communication possible and effective.
Taking all the effects of social network, the media and Skype program particularly into consideration, it is possible to claim that the Skype program is useful by all means. Skype is helpful due to the number of options, services, and functions available, namely text and voice messages exchange, video conferencing, and file exchange. Text and voice messages exchange as well as video conferencing are important for business, while file exchange is more important for educational purposes. It helps to deal with the course materials, such as readings, tasks, and exercises, course objectives, and many other issues connected with education.
Emily Rock, blogger and writter at https://top-papers.com