Can You Teach Skype To Tech-Phobic Family?

Can You Teach Skype To Tech-Phobic Family?

If you’re away from family, being able to video call using Skype or other free services is a great way to stay in touch. But can you teach them to use it if they’ve barely touched a computer before and shirk at the thought of a no-features mobile?

Picture from GQ Style Australia

Our sibling site PopSugar reports that Australian actor Liam Hemsworth is frustrated by his technophobe parents. As he told GQ Style:

My parents don’t Skype. It’s tough with the time difference. I miss Australia a lot

Part of me sympathises with his plight, but part of me thinks the problem could be solved. Mobile handsets that support Skype are plentiful, and Facetime on an iPhone or iPad would be another option. My relatives in the UK regularly use Skype, and getting them educated was not much of a battle. But admittedly I’ve never had to try and explain Skype to anyone who has never used a computer before.

So I’m curious. Have you got any experience teaching relatives to use Skype, or are some tasks destined for the too-hard basket? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.


  • I’ve found that the iPad is excellent for this. However, many of my family and friends are starting to use Facetime a lot more, especially my mother, which is sad in a way since you’re locked into Apple devices.

  • I teach at a local seniors citizens centre every Monday morning, we have about 15 students who have all ended up buying their own laptops and are using skype. You should see their faces when they get to see and talk to a grandchild on the other side of the world. It is all about repetition, it may take a few weeks but they get there. It is actually very rewarding!

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