Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Problems with Skype

Last week, I put up a post about the benefits of having Skype built in to TV sets, as well as, a webcam. But a few days ago, Time online published an article about the negatives of Skype or more specifically Video calling.  I never covered the negative in my article so, I felt that it was a smart idea to talk about it here.

The Time article centers around two basic problems with Videocalling.  Firstly, with video calling you now need to pay attention.  Since the other person can now see you and see what your doing you now are required to pay absolutely 100% attention to the other person.  I think most women will probably like this feature, since now they will know that their husband on the other end is listening to what they have to say.  Unfortunately, us guys like to have the ability to zone out every once in a while.  I'll be honest.  When I make a Skype call (minus the webcam), I'm surfing the web, typing things out and even muting my mic to talk to someone that just happens to come by in the room.  With Video calling, I would lose those freedoms and be forced to pay attention.

Secondly, videocalling forces both people to be present at the same time.  According to the Time article,  people now a days like the ability to communicate through e-mail or text messaging so that they don't have to be communicating in real time.  By using these other methods of communication, people are better able to manage their time, unlike with videocalling or the old fashioned telephone call.   I must admit that sometimes instead of calling someone I will make the decision to simply text them in order to save the time that I would normally take in a conversation. 

All in all, these two negatives could derail the future of video calling and Skype.  I've personally never gotten why Skype hasn't taken off more than it has, but now I can see why.  If people are more interested in non real time conversations it does make sense that people wouldn't about Skype nor care to use it..

So what do you think about Skype?

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