I vaguely remember when I first heard about the futuristic concept of video phones. I was 9 or 10 years old at the time, and my thought was: This is the dumbest idea. Who is going to stand directly in front of a screen to make phone calls? Even when phones had cords, people would constantly walk around while talking.
Of course, I was completely wrong, starting with Skype, and now Facetime. Though even with Facetime, I really did wonder, “Who’s going to use this?”
Now I know: Uncles use Facetime.
The thing I realized pretty early on with my niece is that I really like to see her growing up. I only get to hang out with her a few times a year, so even when she was much too young to understand what phones were, my mom could show me her slow evolution on Facetime.
When Anna started interacting with the world, Facetime became even more invaluable because there was less of a cognitive dissonance for video vs. audio.
And over the last year, it’s been wonderful to be able to call and talk with Anna. She knows not to push the red button right away, and she’s even learned to show me things using the phone (she understands that what I see is the image she sees on the screen).
Anna is now almost 3 and a half, and I Facetime with her pretty much every week. Today she called me to talk about the cookie dough she had just made, and I asked her to sample it for me (one of my favorite things is freshly made cookie dough).
I’m really grateful that Facetime has given me the opportunity to connect with my niece with such consistency, so it definitely belongs on my pet please list.
What’s your favorite use of video chats?