Keeping Connected

| February 3, 2011

SkypingAh, Valentine’s Day. It’s a time-honored tradition created by men after the Super Bowl I. It’s documented that the holiday started as a way to get wives to agree to let seven college buddies come over, track mud on the floor, wear football jerseys, yell uncontrollably and eat whatever they wanted. In order to achieve this coup, men swayed their mates with promises of dinner, wine, candy and,  flowers soon thereafter.

And now, in the age of technology and Facebook/Twitter, relationships are starting to spawn greater and greater distances. No gadget will ever replace a real hug, but there are ways to make your loved ones feel closer.

So how do you keep in touch with your long-distance betrothed during the month of love and Super Bowl party forgiveness?

Video chatting

If you or someone you know has an iPhone, make them plug it into a computer and iTunes, which is the only way to upgrade your phone. You’d be surprised how many people never connect their phone to their computer and run outdated software on their phone. Nothing says love like taking advantage of the Apple upgrades.

Apple just released enhancements to Facetime, Apple’s video chatting service. Android works well with the Qik app.,  It’s a good way to see each other when on the go.

While it’s romantic and fun to plan video chats with your significant other, make sure you schedule them. Do not randomly initiate a video chat. Relationships fail when one person is trying to video chat while the other person is busy. If the other person is not prepared to chat, there can be feelings of rejection.

While video chatting is still just catching on, look at it to become more widespread.


We’ve all seen Skype used on TV and use it for work and web conferencing on our computer. But did you know it’s coming to a TV near you?

For those unfamiliar with Skype, the software application allows users to make voice calls over the Internet. You simply sign up for a Skype account and then search for contacts. Once you and your friends and family are signed up, you can make free Skype calls from your computer to theirs. Skype also allows for video chat, file sharing, call forwarding, instant messaging and several other convenient features.

The most recent addition to Skype is the ability to make and receive calls through your TV. Both Samsung and Panasonic offer Skype-embedded televisions for crystal-clear video chat in HD. Just make sure you’re not in sweats and have a cucumber facial pack on when that TV video chat comes through. But then again, perhaps that is true love.

Multimedia Messaging Service

Got a cameraphone? Then use it to your advantage. Statistics show that 97 percent of SMS and MMS messages are opened and read. So attach a picture or short video to your next text message. It starts a conversation and shows you’re thinking of that person, even if you are far apart.

Managing distance

Distance may make the heart grow fonder, but if you need 24/7 immersion with your significant other, these technologies help put you in the same room no matter how far apart you may be. There are lots of easy, inexpensive technologies available to improve communication, but if none of these tickle your fancy, pick up a pen, get a stamp and pour your heart out on paper. That never fails.

Ankur Gopal is COO for Agent 511, a mobile strategy and development firm. When he’s not trying designing Apps on his smartphone to write Voice-Tribune articles for him, he is replying to emails at

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Ankur Gopal

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