I love Skype! It’s free software that allows me to talk to other people worldwide over the computer. There are NO FEES associated with this service, although you can choose to pay for more extensive service. But look at everything I can do for free: call other people who have Skype, have video conferences, do one-on-one or group chats online, and have conference calls with up to 9 people.
My parents downloaded Skype and with only dial-up service, we can do voice chats (using your computer like a phone) and text chats. This is handy since neither of us has a land line, meaning we use cell minutes for all prime-time calls. When they get to Florida and high speed access this winter, we will be doing video conferencing so they can see and talk to their grandkids.
My sister installed Skype on her computer at work, so she can “skype me” (send a text message) when she has a free moment and I can respond when I have one. If we are both free at once, we can chat back and forth real-time. We even had a 3-way chat with mom to talk about wedding details!
Go here to download Skype and try it out. If you don’t know anyone else who has Skype and you are someone I know, email me and I’ll send you my Skype name so we can chat! (For privacy, I only allow incoming messages from people I know.)