Home / Skype as an example of changing nature of social interactions

I just installed Skype - it’s a terrific program and I was able to make free “phone calls” between USA and Europe (DSL network connection on both sides) with good quality (the only problem were ocasional, short periods of silence). It god me thinking about changing norms of social interactions. Today I was “called” via Skype by 4 people I don’t know. Never in my life was I called on my cell-phone by a stranger (with the exception of “wrong number” cases and telemarketers). So it seems like calling strangers on a cell-phone is not an accepted behaviour while calling stranger on Skype is. Very similar technologies, a big difference in how they are used. I speculate that people adapt IM type behaviour (where chatting up a stranger by sending him a unsolicited IM message is ok) to Skype rather than phone type behaviour.

Ah, telemarketers. I wonder if they’ll start using Skype as well. As of right now there are 120 thousand people running Skype - quite a market of tech-savvy (potential) customers. From the telemarketer point of view the pros are: there are no laws forbidding unsolicited commercial calls, calls are free. On the con side: it might be hard to figure out physical location of the person you’re calling (you probably wouldn’t want try to sell physical goods from US to a guy in Russia). Skype is still very young so we’ll have to wait and see.