If you live far away, are travelling, or have other commitments that prevent you from visiting your mom on Mother’s Day, that doesn’t mean you can’t still talk to her. But long-distance calling can be extremely expensive, and it doesn’t have the same intimate feeling as an in-person visit. But we’ve got the solution: set up a Skype video chat with mom! We’ve got the basic instructions for you below.
5 easy steps to connect with mom over Skype
1. Download and install Skype, and make sure mom does the same.
If either you or your mom doesn’t have Skype installed on your respective computers already, you’re definitely going to have to do that first. Visit Skype.com in any web browser and click Download Skype right on the home page. Then, find the Skype installer program, open it, and follow the installation instructions. Make sure you both have the program downloaded and installed on your computers before going any further.
2. Create a Skype account, and have mom sign up as well.
After you download and install the program, open it, and sign up for a Skype account. Simply click Create an Account and fill out the sign-up form. At the end, click I Agree – Continue. If you need to learn more about the specific details of this process, check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to create a Skype account.
TIP: If you have a Microsoft account, you don’t need a separate Skype account – you can use your Microsoft account to sign into Skype!
3. Add mom as a contact, and make sure she accepts your invitation to connect.
Once you’ve logged into Skype, click in the box labelled “Search” and type mom’s name in. Once you find her account, click on its name, and then click Add to Contacts. You can even add a message before sending the invite to make sure she knows it’s really you! She will then receive an invitation to accept you as a contact, and when she does, you can both connect on Skype.
4. Choose a time to connect, and then start a video chat.
Using another form of communication, select a time that works for you and mom to have a video chat on Mother’s Day. Then, make sure both of you are signed into your Skype accounts at the designated time. From there, click on mom’s name in the Contacts menu on the left side of the screen, and then click the blue video camera button. Skype will start calling her, and if she accepts the call (tell her to click the green video camera button that appears), you will be chatting face-to-face!
Make sure to check out our tutorial on how to use Skype video chat to learn what all your options are, what features you can use, and what all the buttons do!
5. End the chat and do it again!
When you’re finished with the call, click the red phone button to end it. Then make sure you use Skype again if you have to be away from mom for a long time. Video calls can save you tons of money in long-distance charges, and they also give you the personal face-to-face touch that regular phone calls just can’t!
Notes for using Skype for video chatting
1. Slow or buffering video on Skype is normal.
The video feed in Skype chats can sometimes appear slower than real-time, or even pause, as your computer and Internet connection must load a lot of content very quickly. If your video feed is inconsistent, it may be because there is a problem with your Internet connection. You could try resetting your modem and then trying the call again. You can also just turn off the video portion of the call and have a voice-only call until the Internet speeds up again.
2. Only add contacts on Skype who you know.
Anyone on Skype can search for and add anyone else by name, user name, phone number, or other information they have on their profile. Be careful what you put in your Skype profile or what you tell other users, and be sure to only accept contact invitations from people you know. You can respond to a contact invitation with a message to verify the user’s identity, so you can be absolutely sure of who you’re communicating with before you accept their contact request.
3. If mom has trouble setting up Skype, try doing it for her remotely.
If mom is having trouble following the steps to set Skype up, you can use a service that allows you to take over her computer and sign up for her. With her permission, you can access her computer screen and then do all the work for her while she watches. Try out Chrome Remote Desktop if mom needs the extra help.
4. Make sure you check your surroundings before starting the video chat.
We know you love you mom, but you probably don’t share absolutely everything that goes on in your life with her! Be sure you check out what’s going on in the background of where you choose to make your call. It’s also good to choose a space without a lot of background noise, and use headphones so that you can hear each other clearly!
5. If Skype isn’t right for you, it may not be your only option.
You might find yourself in the unfortunate situation where Skype doesn’t do enough of what you want it to, or it just flat out won’t work. If that’s the case, there are plenty of other services that you can use for video chats. Try out the likes of Google Hangouts or ooVoo to change things up!
We hope this article helped you and your mom get set up to chat on Skype. If you want to learn more about Skype, check out our free course on how to use it. We’ll teach you all about the program’s great features, so you can become a master of using Skype in little time at all!