I saw Judah this afternoon. Judah is my not quite three year old nephew¹ from Milwaukee. We met up via Skype with the help of his parents Jessie and Evan. Baby sister Gabby looked on.
The conversation started with Judah burrowing his head into Jessie’s neck. Cute, but not a confidence builder there’d be much substance to the chat. He says he’s looking forward to Helaine and my upcoming trip to Milwaukee to see the hapless Brewers play the hapless Phillies.
Just establishing the chat tonight was like pulling teeth. Jessie favors iChat. I’m using a Samsung phone. Oops. We settled on Skype.
It took at least a half dozen attempts before we were able to connect. A few times Jessie’s face appeared briefly before the whole thing shut down. My hopping between 4G and WiFi here at work is probably the culprit. Maybe the Skype app isn’t resilient enough to follow along?
I have my tablet. I have my smartphone. I use a laptop with a camera built into the bezel. I expected to be using Skype or Oovoo, or Google’s video chat service a lot more than I do… which is nearly nil.
Maybe my expectations were too high? Maybe the ease of connection needed still isn’t there?
I don’t Skype with my folks. I don’t Skype with my daughter. Friends? Nah.
It was fun when I used to video chat with my friend in Kabul (he’ll soon move just north of the equator in West Africa). It really was like being there, which was good for both of us during his isolation. The only problems were his horrendous Internet service and undependable electric supply. We’ll see how Africa compares.
I’ve been a big believer video chat would be the favored method of person-to-person comms going forward. Not anymore. Keyboard-to-keyboard continues to grow strongly while even cellphone voice minutes fall off.
Facebook, Google and others promote their video services, but I never hear about them being used.
Video is still too difficult. Communications are best when easiest.
Video is best saved for special occasions like talking to Judah.
¹- I’m not very good with this, but Judah is my sister’s daughter’s son. Nephew? Maybe great nephew? I’m always confused.