We use Skype or Facetime in our house at least 3 times per week to speak to other members of our family. It's a great way for us to all stay connected in a way that doesn't compare to talking on the phone. I know that many of you reading this probably have a similar experience in your homes.
A recent study by Lauren Myers and colleagues shows that interactions over video chat can have a positive impact on children from 12-25 months.
On a personal note: When I first read about the study I was so happy to discover that it was Lauren's work. Back in 2003, I went to visit to a potential grad school location and Lauren was my "chaperone" as a current grad student. Though I didn't go to that school, Lauren and I remained in touch. It's always a pleasure to share the great and interesting work of colleagues that I have a personal connection with!