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FaceTime and the Perils of Public Discourse

The theme of mobile open dialogue and Internet browsing is trending. I partly blame FaceTime and mobile video conversation for this emergence.

As a daily train commuter, I see a lot of the ways people deal with technology. And by far the most invasive development of them all is FaceTime.

FaceTime allows iPhone users to chat face to face on their mobile devices. While this is fantastic for home and work conversations, bringing family and colleagues into your space, it’s typically a nuisance for everyone else if used in public.

FaceTime is training users that it’s ok to broadcast live video out loud, including YouTube. Yesterday, one man on my train was blasting a movie preview on YouTube. The guy behind him was talking to his wife on FaceTime about dinner plans. Thankfully someone had the courage tell them both to quiet down.

If you’re going to chat, watch online videos and movies or listen to music, the proper etiquette is to use headphones. We already overhear enough banter as it is; we certainly don’t need to know what you’re doing tonight or what movie you’ll illegally BitTorrent next.

Unfortunately, I think technology continues to evolve like a Google Hangout where everyone gets included on the conversation by default. Before, we were just spying on each other. Now we can’t figure out a away to get away from each other.

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FaceTime

I see more and more people using the iPhone’s FaceTime functionality every day.

It was uncomfortable letting someone peek into your world in real-time at first. But as the likes of visual communication predominate the mobile web, FaceTime has become a preferred vehicle for conversation.

People prefer to talk to faces. They not only want to see human emotion but they also want to know where you are. Context brings the phone call to life, a true 1v1 experience.

Face-to-face chat is making a comeback through digital phones, enabling people to travel through time, to be there without being there.