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I didn’t want to have to do this. I’ve never been a person who asks that annoying, age-old question: “Has technology gone too far?”
FaceTime is rarely maligned on the Internet because it’s a modern technological marvel. Outside of that open facing camera that can catch you off guard and make you realize you aren’t as good looking as you once thought, there really isn’t anything to complain about with the iPhone feature. Twenty years ago, the idea of FaceTime was rooted in science fiction.
Then, sometime in the mid-aughts, Skype came along. I had a long distance girlfriend my freshman year of college for like two months and we would have Skype dates once or twice a week. I got sick and tired of looking at private parts via video chat when there was an entire campus full of actual, real live human girls at my disposal, so as you might have guessed we broke things off before it got really serious. My mastubatory habits aside, Skype really paved the way for FaceTime.
Apple was able to develop video chat on cell phones just as Skype began falling by the wayside and here we are. I love that in 2018 I can feel like I’m in the same room with someone who is in actuality 2,000 miles away, but society is taking too many liberties these days with when and where they choose to use this shit.
I sat at a winery in Northern Michigan last Saturday sipping a very fine Pinot Gris and taking in the views that the patio had to offer. Overlooking row upon row of vineyard grapes, I relished the opportunity I was given in that moment to be outside of the city looking at trees, grass, and grapes. Three tables over from me, a portly gentleman and his wife sat down and ordered a bottle of Merlot.
Not one of my favorite wines in the world, but I thought “Hey, maybe this vineyard is known for Merlot and I just don’t know it.” I stopped paying attention to them so that I could find my waiter and order a cheese board for our table when out of nowhere I heard that all too familiar hollow beeping noise that can only mean one thing – that couple with a penchant for Merlot was FaceTiming at a fucking vineyard.
Let me be clear – I have no problem with someone getting a couple of ‘grams off or Snapchatting themselves drinking at a winery. After all, how are you supposed to let your friends know that you’re better off financially and socially than them if you’re not documenting your trip to wineries from time to time? But we were on a relatively quiet patio setting. People weren’t whispering but it’s not like there was a DJ playing Tiesto in the corner of the deck while we ordered bottles of Semillon and Grenache.
This was a quaint setting with reserved people, and this couple was screaming to someone on the other end of a Facetime call about how fucking phenomenal the merlot they were drinking was. They talked to the woman on the other end for twenty minutes while patrons side-eyed them from every corner of the joint.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in Chicago and watched a man dining alone in an Italian restaurant eat an entire meal while on FaceTime with someone. The guy had eggplant parmesan, two glasses of the house red, and a few bread rolls. That’s a solid 30 or 40-minute meal we’re talking about, and he pretended like it was a totally normal thing to be Facetiming while eating at there.
Inside the privacy of your own home is where FaceTime was meant to be used. If you’re at a family gathering and one of the cousins or aunts couldn’t make it, Facetime is there for you. It’s an iPhone feature that is meant for intimate scenes, not at public restaurants or wineries where anyone within twenty feet of you can hear your conversation.
Take a look at this ad from Apple focused entirely on Facetime. In the ad, every single shot is of people in private settings talking to someone else. No one is at a bar casually drinking a beer and Facetiming or eating pasta at a restaurant. Apple doesn’t want you doing it and neither do I.
Dial it back a few notches. It’s not something that should replace texting or the conventional phone call. It’s a special treat for when you’re hungover in bed and want to call a buddy across the country about the swamp monster you bagged at the bar last night. It’s a tool to be used to call your mother on her birthday or to wish a friend in Europe a Merry Christmas. Sometimes it baffles me what people will do in public settings. We’re devolving, and FaceTiming out in the wild is part of the problem. .
Image via YouTube