In the last two weeks, two of my friends have discovered the google web talk. It's kinda fun and feels a bit like we're actually hanging out. However, it's very quickly become a love/hate thing for me.
The first time we tried it was a few weeks ago. My friend had just had her third baby and was in seclusion because her most of her family was infected with the flu. She was stuck in a hotel with the baby and was loving being able to heal in quiet with new baby Silas. however, she was missing her family. Her mother and father live in Minnesota and were out visiting. Unfortunately, they weren't able to visit with Silas and Katie. They were all bummed. They don't get to visit often and they live for being with the grandbabies. So, Katie thought maybe google web talk might be an option for the grandparents to see the babies more often.
So, we both got on the web chat. It was actually pretty fun. I got to see Silas and his cute little baby butt. She was able to talk hands free and have full control of the baby. I liked it and I thought that her parents would love it! It actually has a more personal feel than just being on the phone. I almost felt like I was hanging out with them...well, with the exception of not being able to hold and kiss on that squishy baby. We figured we'd used this every so often, so I can talk to the boys and visit a little. I think the boys will absolutely love being able to talk to people on the computer. Sounds like a fun little thing to do every once in a while. I think her parents will absolutely love it. They'll get to see the boys playing and talking. I think it will work out well for them.
Then a few days ago, I was online and I kept hearing this dinging sound. I couldn't for the life of me figure out where this noise was coming from. I hadn't heard this noise before and it was making me a little crazy. Finally I figured out it was my chat "ringing" to alert me to an incoming call. I clicked over and there was my friend Tracy staring at me from Arkansas. She saw my google chat saying that I have a camera available and took advantage of it. I haven't seen her for at least four of five months, so this seemed fun. This was a good way to hang out with her without being in the same state!
We started talking and it was nice to see her face, talk to her husband, and see my niece (her dog) pop up and say hi. Because we are both photographers, it was great to be able to work and show each other marketing and photos. It worked really well.
Around the half hour mark is when I noticed I wasn't as in love with the chat as much as I had been. I'll be honest, I was getting a little tired of having to pay full attention to the screen. I have a bit of the A.D.D. So on our normal long phone calls, I sit here, move over there, sometimes I flip through a magazine, sometimes I go outside. Basically, on a regular phone, I can do anything. Being tethered to the computer was a little bit more work than just sitting with my phone.
As our phone call went on, the real problem came to light. The whole point of talking on the computer, is being able to see the other person. So it's kinda imperative to be seen my the camera and that's where the hate part comes in. I found that for the last half of our conversation, three quarters of my attention was spent on making sure I didn't have a double chin! My vanity totally popped up and I spent more time making sure I was in a flattering angle on the screen, than I really should have. This means that I spent more time staring at myself than paying attention to my friend. We ended up talking for like an hour and a half. This is far more time than I should be spending thinking about how cute I look for a friend. What a conceited asshole right?
This also brings up a third problem for me. You never know when some jerk friend of mine is going to pop up and say hi. This means that I need to make sure I'm looking cute all the time! This google chat seems like far more work than it's worth.