Skype Dates: A Millennial Thing?

Skype Dates... Like the phone (but better) Lately I've been spending a lot of time on skype.

When I told one of my (older, non-millennial) co-workers that I had a "skype date" - he looked confused (and maybe even a little concerned for my well being?)

I didn't tell him that it was a dinner skype date.

My good friend Urban Dictionary defines it as "an event in which people contact each other using an internet phone calling program such as Skype."

ex: "I'll catch up with you later. I have a skype date with Adam. This is the best time to call him because of the time change."

But what's funny about Skype is that it's become the necessary evil of long distance relationships fueled by collaborative technologies (not that I'd know from experience or anything...).

While I was studying abroad in Italy, I noticed that many relationships survived on Skype alone - you would always see the girls with the long distance relationships run to the quietest corner to whisper to their boyfriends across the ocean over the interwebs.  There was no privacy (and not much bandwidth either) - so watching them run to the corner made me laugh (but I was also a little jealous of the dedication to the cause)

But the term "skype date" is popping up -- not just online, take the  Skype community forum features a thread on "Skype Love and Dating," but also in movies -- Megan Fox in Transformers 2 was blown off by Shia for a scheduled video chat date and was not happy about the outcome.

Why Skype, You Say?

1) It's Free (non committal. good for people who have different carriers or travel frequently.)

2) You can see the other person (if you have a mac, a netbook, or basically a recently purchased computer)

3) It gives you that home-away-from-home warm fuzzy feeling that you're talking to a real person behind all of those bits and bytes.

If you're going to take the plunge and have a Skype Date, my Advice:

1) DO NOT WEAR A CORNY GEEKY HEADSET. for real here, would you wear your headgear out on a first date? No? Then don't wear a weird headset. Try an iPhone headset with earbuds or at least something sexy.and YES gadgets can be sexy!

2) Look nice from the shoulders up. OK, so you're not wearing pants. WHO CARES! But at least do your hair.

3) Keep it fun. Maybe suggest that the next skype date is formal and you expect him to wear a tie. Who doesn't like a guy in a suit!?

4) Research how it all  works. You would look up driving directions if you were going out to dinner, right? Well, do the same with skype. Make sure your camera works. Check that your headset works. Nothing's more frustrating than seeing you but not hearing the words coming out of your mouth (unless both parties know sign language.)

So, are millennials crazy for doing this? Yes and No. It's great to keep in touch with those in different time zones (and where it would cost a small fortune to call) and it's always fun to make funny faces at people over skype, or use the communications channel to decide what to wear. Just don't rely on it as your only source of "seeing" someone for a long period of time.

Lay down the law, ladies. They should come and see you. In person. Or you're taking away the video privileges of skype ;)