Tools for maintaining that long-distance relationship

L&S_Long distance

Internet calling

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

With all the advances in technology, communication has never been easier. But where do you turn when your relationship depends heavily on communication, and communication alone? Say, for example, when you’re in a long-distance relationship?

The Internet is a glorious place that has significantly widened the dating pool of every single individual; but cuddling up to a computer screen every night isn’t exactly what many would call an ideal romance. Thankfully, there are ways to keep the fires burning, even from miles away.

Recently, many of the new smartphone models have come out with basic Internet calling functions. This allows you to call or FaceTime others, but instead of relying on how many minutes of evening calling you might have, or where their area code is, it uses an available Wi-Fi signal. This is especially useful should you call people long-distance a lot, because you can eliminate those pesky charges for going over your minutes.

But wherever would they get such a brilliant idea?

Companies like Vonage and Skype have been using Internet calling for years, so don’t fret if a new phone or tablet isn’t in your future. Skype is available in PC, Mac, or mobile form with apps for both Apple and Android devices. The app and service is free, but restricts you to only calling people using the Skype program. For any worthwhile relationship, asking your significant other to sacrifice a small amount of their gigabyte storage should be no problem. All in the name of love, right?

If you would prefer to have the glorious powers of Internet calling without the dependency on your significant other being signed in, then Skype also offers paid memberships or cheap calling rates so you can whisper sweet nothings to your analog lover caveman style. But if you’re really that desperate, you might just want to save your coin and revisit upgrading to a new smart phone, since the Internet calling function will come free of charge.

In the end though, no number of “I love you” e-cards and inspirational quote wall posts beat a good ol’ fashioned care package delivered via snail-mail. It’s true what the Beatles said: “All you need is love!” But it’s also nice to have some physical or material assurance of your beloved’s affections, even if you can’t be there in person.