Hate It: Video Chatting

Oh, great, I didn’t see you there, but then I did. Your face disappeared for a few seconds because the connection was slow. We both look ridiculous looking down into a camera, our faces are a little grainy, and we have fish-eyes. But let’s chat.

Now, I love talking at a two inch, two dimensional representation of a human face just as much as the next person, but can someone please tell me the purpose of the window in the corner where I can see myself? I don’t set up a mirror to watch myself during normal conversations, so why should I during a video chat?

I don’t like it when intruders pop into the image on the other end, just to say “Hi!” or wave and remark how cool video chatting is because they can see themselves wave in the self-reflection. First of all, why is that so cool? And b) of all, get out of my conversation.

Even worse: someone could be watching the video chat from beyond the frame, unbeknownst to you. You’re too busy looking at the image of yourself in the corner, discovering how you can expand the little box that it’s in.

One of my friends used to add backgrounds to her iChats. There would be fish floating behind her head, or safari animals walking around in the background. Midway through the conversation, there would be a hot air balloon taking off behind her head. What the hell am I supposed to say to that? Cool? I’m not five years old and don’t actually believe you are in the middle of the Serengeti (because they don’t have Wi-Fi)?

But I don’t want to be an asshole, so I just say, “How’d you do that?”