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Written by: Rachel Li
June 8th, 2015
Long-distance friendship can go a long way simply via Skype according to John Lambe, a University of Waterloo student. After graduating from high school in Guelph, John and his eleven friends were able to stay in touch via a Skype group chat. This group was started back in the Summer of 2011 and is still going strong today. This never-ending Skype call connects friends all the way from Michigan State to Nova Scotia to Ottawa and cities in between.
This Skype group started off with only five members solely for the purpose of playing video games. There are now eleven high school buddies to date actively participating in the group. Today, it has expanded its use in many different directions, including making group outings, helping each other on assignments, talking about world issues and conversations about their daily lives. Their conversations are never urgent but rather just to keep up a conversation and keep each other updated. The Skype call is mainly text chat and voice based; they never set up a time to all go online, with the exception of planning a time to play multi-player video games. There is usually a voice call when more than three people are online and others can join and leave as they please.
Long-distance friendships are particularly prevalent among students coming out of high school as friends disperse to different post-secondary paths around the country. Being able to have face-to-face interactions a few times a year may not be ideal, but at the end of the day, this Skype group helps salvage the friendships of these former high school friends. Firstly, you will always have someone to talk to. John strongly emphasized on how this Skype group is based on random thoughts that is in everyone's head on a day to day basis. So no matter what time of day it is, drop a message or call the group and likely someone will be there to listen. This leads to my second point, having a group means someone will always listen to you. We all need a break from school at some point to vent to someone or asking for others opinions. Having a Skype chat make it more accessible to do so.
In addition, there is also nothing more exciting to see all of your friends after spending months apart. Some people may dread going home from University, but for John, no school means more Thirsty Thursday or Tequila Tuesday with his buddies!
The quote, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder" may be cliché, but it could not be more true. Being apart from friends you have met since elementary school for such a long period of time is definitely something to get adjusted to. But being away from your close friends will also make you appreciate them more. Being able to maintain a long-distance relationship with friends is definitely a life-long skill to have. By having a Skype group, it will allow a friendship to grown even stronger via communication and staying in touch. When it comes to long-distance friendship, technology is on your side. Aside from Skype, to name a few other options includes FaceTime, texting, Snapchat, etc. If your friendship can withstand the obstacles that comes with being long distance, you have found a keeper (or in John's case, eleven keepers).