The Irish gift of gab is the stuff of legend. Whether this talent for eloquent and persuasive talk is found in traditional folk tales, a conversation at the pub, or in the writings of Oscar Wilde, the Irish rightfully pride themselves in their flair for language.
Adam Keating, who lives with his wife and 6-year-old son in Dublin and spends some 25% of his job on the road, is using Skype to put his own modern spin on the gift of gab. He says, “The first thing you have to understand is that the Irish gift of gab is not just about talking, it’s about relating.”
And Adam is hardly the only Irishman keeping up relations from afar. While Ireland claims some 5 million inhabitants, another 70 million people around the world are Irish or of Irish descent. That means that the gift of gab is a truly global phenomenon.
As for Adam, whether he’s visiting clients in Poland, France, Germany, or the United States, he uses a calendar full of Skype calls to gab with his wife, son, parents, and friends. While Skype-to-Skype video calls are always free, Adam uses Skype Credit to be sure he is using affordable Skype WiFi and also to call from Skype to both mobiles and landlines back home.
Adam works for a company that helps video game studios bring their games to market and he can be in Eastern Europe one day and west coast of North America the next. He says that using Skype “takes away some of the pressure of being on the road” as it “helps you stay present in everyday conversations and sharing stories with family and friends.”
One thing Adam tries to do every day while on the road is to have breakfast with his son. He sets aside a half hour to do a Skype video call to be sure that he and his son can see each other and yak about the goings-on of the day. It’s just like a regular family breakfast except that Adam is on Skype on his Windows Phone or Surface tablet and his son is on Skype on the laptop or (if he’s been good) the Xbox.
Adam continues, “Both my wife and I live about a hundred miles away from our families. We Irish have this collective thing around a Sunday lunch; we come together with the whole extended clan. Because my family doesn’t always have that opportunity and we have very busy lives, we have to find new ways to keep our parents inclusive in our son’s life.”
Even when Adam is at home in Dublin, Skype serves as the intergenerational hub between his son and his parents’ lives. “My son has tea with his grandparents on a Skype video call every week,” Adam smiles. “It’s a chance for our son to practice his gift of gab, to show off his new Lego ships, share an ice cream with his grandad [also known as “Paddy Pops”] and tell granny’s how much he likes her new hair style.”
Adam is a salesman, like his father before him. He says that no matter where in the world he is, he uses Skype Credit to call his dad’s home phone and get work insights. He explains, “More than anyone else, he’s the one I rely upon. I can say, ‘Dad, we may have worked in very different worlds, but I’m still in the same game you were in – tell me what you think about this problem I am trying to figure out.”
“My dad is not frequently online, but if I am about to step into a meeting in Seattle, I can use Skype to call his mobile or landline in Ireland to chew the fat with him, test out a couple of stories, and get a sense of what’s making him bored, what’s hitting his buttons, and weigh it all out,” Adam says.
Last but not least, Adam and his wife have a few close friends and relatives who have moved to London or farther afield. “It never hurts to get on a video call and share a glass of wine or a good laugh from a far,” he says. “I can use Skype WiFi from an airport, hotel, or wherever to be sure I have a good connection with no surprise fees and can have those everyday conversations that so important.”
Tradition says that those who kiss Ireland’s famed Blarney Stone are supposedly granted the gift of gab. That may or may not be true. And while making frequent Skype calls with those who are most important to you may or may not actually improve your gab, it will definitely make a lot of people in your life happy.
Whether you live in Ireland and travel a lot, are part of the Irish diaspora or simply want to join in the gab, find out more about sharing Skype Gift Cards this St. Patrick’s Day to give Skype Credit to your favorite “yakkers” and “gabbers.”