The internet is making life easier?

I have always considered myself internet savvy having been using it for around 30 yrs or more BUT now it is becoming more complex ;expensive and isolating for the elderly? - For years i have used SKYPE mostely for chatting to friends and family in far flung places of the world. Occasionally it has been free but I haven’t minded the introduced fees by skype - it still seemed good for me living in the middle of a forest and having no direct line connections apart from a dongle inserted into my pc!

the system seems to have broken down particularly with skype. From some research on my part I have discovered that [and I have accessed comments from wizkids on the net] th quality of sound bands hertz or whatever they call them has deliberately reduced by Skype. Just rang an aged cousin in UK and the sound was appauling and we just couldn’t continue. Never happened like this before. After some further research I now discover that for various low cost options I could use a USA system but would need to employ as VPN which would provide me with a usa phone number NOT aussie one!

so skype and its free services are out of the window unfortunately and I have to consider more complex options with costs attached?? this wonderful world of the internet WWW - with its instant connections world wide WWW - really is leaving us oldies behind and only cater for the 25 yr olds and under??
Ps: yes I have tried some quick cheap apps from say google etc - but same problem poor quality sound - my dear poor cousin who I am practicing on atm is getting a bit pissed off!! - any SIMPLE solutions from you techno nerds out there to assist us oldies to keep in touch with aging rellies who in some cases don’t even have a pc just a phone. Or must we give up in our histories and heritages apart from mulling them over on the front porch each evening?

I’m no techno nerd, so any solutions from me are going to be, well…… basic? :rofl:

But are you on Facebook? Don’t flinch, you just have to sign up for an account, not use it or put any information on it

Because if you are, you can use Messenger to make video and audio calls to any friends and family who are also on Facebook

It’s very good, I often chat with my auntie in Tingira Heights and it’s just like talking to someone up the road

Zoom is also very good,


Yes I use Facebook messenger as well, as well as Whats app to make my calls.

Just rang my daughter who’s in Croatia and the call cost nothing.

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I don’t use it myself, but my daughter uses something called ‘Facetime’ to talk to our two grandchildren, one of whom lives in Liverpool, and the other in her final year at Newcastle university…That well know dating establishment…where she met her intended. Nice lad though…

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thanks for all the tips sound useful but these cousins are now in the 90’s and only have one black phone!!! - I think I need to go back to one black phone myself too!!

when i’m in england i talk to friends in India on either facebook or whatsapp, often the connection is variable but mostly ok, which is the same when doing a video call to a mate just up the road, i also use both from India to the UK, its free so even if its not perfect…
I have an Indian friend in Cambridge who talks to her parents in India for at least an hour every day
using a VPN wont get you a forign phone number it just routes your call thru that country, but mostly VPN cost money the two mentioned here are free. that would be Facebook and whatsapp…

And crazier.

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The one thing I don’t use the Internet for is making overseas calls, I just ring them using my phone as unlimited overseas calls/texts are part of my phone package.

During the pandemic I did use Zoom a few times for group chat which included overseas as well as domestic relatives and I also use Whatsapp but the latter actually used by Asian friends to contact me, then I usually call them back using the phone.

I was surprised to learn how much Whatsapp is used by small businesses to transfer documents and was shown by a friend how to get it on a computer (something else I didn’t realise you could do)

My kids set up a group Whatsapp chat for projects, currently we have one for our trip to Uluru to co-ordinate our bookings, travel dates etc

In a couple of days I have to pick up an overseas visitor at Sydney airport, I wait near the airport until they contact me via Whatsapp using the free wifi at the airport (to avoid roaming charges) then I drive into the free pick up area to collect them. I am buggered if I am paying the absurd $17/hour parking charges.

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my rellies in uk are 95 yr olders and the only thing they have is a phone - I have no phone atm just internet functioning from a usb stick - once skype offered a good clear service now they are crap - in this marvellous day and age you’d imagine that it would be easier to just talk to people across the airways - it feels like the 1940’s almost!!

Here you go - ring them everyday

thanks for that bruce!