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Through my childhood, sci-fi TV series had characters using video phones, but now, for several years video calls have actually been within reach of many of us. We are living in the future. So why does it still feel a bit crap?
I guess, in Star Trek , the dramatist would love the shot of somebody reporting a disaster by video link. The character’s anguished face made the news about Klingons more dire.
BUT the handsome chaps on the video screen reporting to their crew were actors, so they were experts at looking engaged and interested. You never saw them glancing at the time or furtively doing a little word-processing. Unlike the rest of us defective human beings.
I find a conventional audio phone suits my fidgety nature much better. I am able to indulge in one-handed housework, but try to avoid doing jobs that involve standing on wobbly chairs as I would hate my parents or children to hear my final expletives as I tumble to my death. It could scar them emotionally.
But it’s Skype for us at the moment. Nigel, Pascoe and I line up on the sofa and call Perran or Carenza. Perhaps if we were better organised we could use two laptops, Skype them both simultaneously and have a conference.
But even then there would still be the slightly crap anti-climax where we wondered what to talk about, did a little word-processing, checked our watches and picked our noses.