Do you ever stop to think about how exciting it is that we get to talk with people face-to-face via screens? That we get to see their faces and surroundings in real-time as we talk?
Video conferencing is super exciting—it was used in an early episode of the original Star Trek series, and now we do it all the time, and at the touch of a button! We know all about how hanging out on video chat, keeping in touch with distant friends, and telecommuting to work makes life easier and richer. We also know (at least we think we know) when too much video conferencing is too much.
The question is, do you?
Take a look at the statements below, and if you find yourself guilty of a couple of these traits, you may be a video conferencing addict.
You Skype Your Kids All the Time…Even Though They’re in the Next Room
Real-life child specialists have found there can be some advantages to letting your kids use video chat every once in awhile. But they’re talking about building relationships with distant family members, not watching Dad’s nightly mock newscast from the next room.
Screen time for the very young is generally considered a no-no (or at least something to indulge in using moderation), and while we know you’re preparing them for a futuristic world in which everyone communicates solely through video calling, for now it’s probably best to remove the virtual monkey mask, close the laptop, and walk into the next room with a book. Preferably not a Kindle.
You Have a Dozen Different Video Calling Apps
Just because every college student now has the ability to whip up a pretty serviceable video chat platform doesn’t mean you have to rush out and join them all. It’s near impossible to manage the connections and incoming messages and requests from more than a couple of apps anyway.
And what are you going to do when you get incoming video calls at the same time on different apps? Buy another phone?
Yes, we know they each have their own little quirks and social solutions, and yes, we understand not all your friends are on one app. But now’s the time to be a force for good, so pick a couple that you like–perhaps one for work, one for family, one for friends–and stick with them. If anyone wants to talk to you, they know where to find you.
Life’s like a box of chocolates; if you eat them all, you’re going to regret it.
You Have a $700 Gamer-Quality Headset, But You Just Make Social Calls
In part, we agree with you on this one. There is some very serious audio and microphone technology built into today’s headsets. The top models even come with memory-foam-lined cans now so your ears don’t sweat and burn after hours of use.
But you’re a social caller, not a special ops front-liner leading a crack squad through a midnight raid. You just don’t need that kind of oomph to hear your friends clearly.
More to the point, you don’t have to spend half that amount of money to get a quality headset that’ll faithfully relay the steady laughter of your friends as you dazzle them with your wit–that’s why you need such high-powered headphones, right?
You’ve Made Your Own Hands-Free Selfie Stick for Your Smartphone So You Can Video Chat While Jogging
Firstly, kudos for both the creative thinking and the jogging.
Our main concern here is for your friends. What kind of image are you presenting to them as you huff and puff and sweat through a blur of streets?
And really, can you even muster much of a response as you pound the pavement? We suggest you use your phone to record a new personal best time, and then call everyone afterwards to brag.
Facebook Messenger Allows 50 Video Callers at a Time, and You Still Want More
Although Messenger’s media managers had a hard time agreeing on just how many people could share a group chat, they finally settled on 50. If you were hoping they’d stay true to their original statement and allow an unlimited amount of callers, you’ve either got a lot of friends, or a goal of getting into the Guinness Book of Records.
And if this video conversation is taking place on a smartphone, most of those callers will be reduced to audio-only, so you lose the ability to view their lovely faces. Moreover, there isn’t an active-speaker technology around that can corral 50 callers. But, if you’re a true addict like we are, you’ll troll Kickstarter looking for a platform that can deal with all those callers.
We wish you luck, because we understand. We’re VC Daily, and we’re video conferencing addicts.