“But you’ve only just said goodbye”
My Mum would say this to me everyday when I got in from school and asked to phone my best friend. I would always be told the same, “after 6 O’clock”. If you were a teenager in the nineties you will totally get this.
You will also totally get how awesome it would have been to have a phone with a cord as long as the one in Roseanne,
or to have a hamburger phone like they did in the diner on Home & Away.
At 15 years of age my best friend and I thought it would be really cool if you could have a video phone, so you can see each other whilst you talk. I mean it would be totally awesome, right?
Wrong. Fast forward twenty plus (ouch) years and our dream is a reality thanks to web cams, Face Time and Skype. Only my dream wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I no longer have the desire to show my best friend pictures of Mark Owen and River Phoenix. At least not on a daily basis anyway. The reality of a ‘video phone’ is plagued with problems.
This is why I hate Skype…
1 I don’t want to see my face
I have no problem with seeing yours, it’s lovely. And whilst I don’t rate my face as my worst feature, I’m not used to seeing it when I’m having a conversation. I find it really off-putting seeing my facial expressions as I talk. I can’t concentrate on what you are saying because I’ve just realised I should have plucked my eyebrows, and If I can see that huge spot that’s appeared on my nose, I’m pretty sure you can. And no mater how I position this bloody thing I look like I have a double chin.
2 I have to get dressed
When I talk on the phone I can be wearing my oldest comfiest PJ’s and you won’t know. Hell I could talk to you in my birthday suit and you would be none the wiser. But with Skype I have to do my hair and makeup and put something decent on. Not for you, I know you don’t care what I look like, But I can see me, and it’s not doing my self esteem any good! Getting a Skype call is like unexpected visitors turning up when the house is a mess and you’re in the middle of waxing your bikini line.
3 I can’t multi task
When I’m having a chat on the phone I can also check Facebook on my mobile. I can have a TV program on in the background, I can be cooking dinner or shoving my gob full of Malteasers. I can do all this and still give you my undivided attention. But if I did any of that whilst Skyping I wouldn’t look like I was giving you my undivided attention. And I’m pretty sure if you wanted to watch someone cook you would prefer Gino.
4 I can’t lounge on the sofa
I have to get set up somewhere where the camera can see me, and that invariably isn’t the horizontal position that I prefer when catching up with you on the phone. And I have to sit really still otherwise I disappear from shot, give you a preview of what’s up my nose, or leave you staring at the top of my head.
5 I get camera shy
I can’t chat normally because I am very aware that I am on camera, so my conversation becomes stilted. I develop this fake laugh that makes me cringe, and my smile, far from being natural, instead ends up looking slightly demented. It feels like I’m about to deliver a live news broadcast and the pressure is too much. Turns out I’m a bit camera shy!
So there you have it. My friend and I were wrong. It’s not totally cool to have video phones. Can we go back to the old fashioned way please?
I know for many people Sykpe is a fantastic and cheap way of keeping in contact and bridging distances, but I can’t be the only one that would much rather chat on the phone, can I?
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