Wednesday, June 30, 2010

time yet for a hundred indecisions, / And for a hundred visions and revisions

The Skype does not make me feel totally at home. Something off-putting about it. It's a hybrid. There's the disconnectedness of not being with the person physically, just like a phone conversation, combined with the responsibility in a personal interaction of maintaining some control over your facial expressions and reacting properly in some way to the other person's comments. It's almost the worst of both worlds. It does sort of alleviate that thing of trying to not talk over someone on a long-distance call where you have to pause and see if the other person's going to speak. It's much easier when you can see if they're going to speak. And of course it's nice to see someone's face whom you haven't seen in a long time. It was lovely just now to see A over the Skype line, precisely to see her reactions to what I was saying, which is exactly why I'm saying I'm opposed, because people can see my reactions. I'm not saying it's not magic, because there is clearly black magic involved in Skype, I'm just saying I'm not totally comfortable with someone else seeing my face during a long-distance conversation. Usually when I'm on the phone I pace back and forth, look in the mirror, generally am not presentable to others, because I know no one can see me. This is different, you feel as though you have to "prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet".

The whole thing brings to mind the part in Infinite Jest where Wallace discusses the invention of video-phone technology and how people eventually decided they didn't want other people seeing them, and created lens caps for their video-phones with tableaus on them meant to deceive the person on the other end of the line. It's interesting how prescient that seems now.

1 comment:

  1. Fair's fair. If it's lovely for you to see someone you love, you should give them that same pleasure back! I know when JD was in Rabat, it was very special to be able to see him, no matter how bad I thought I looked in return...