Why video calling is not my favourite medium?
There is a reason why video calling is not my favourite medium of communication. I feel it is artificial to some extent in spite of it being real. Most of you might differ but this what I believe…
Piku, Pahie, Akki and I were talking away on Whatsapp video on a Wednesday night. We talked about each others’ ongoing graduation projects and our lives in our respective cities. An awkward silence crept in during the conversation at a point for no reason and that’s when Piku brought it up. “I really am not a fan of video chat.”, he said. Well, one person had thought similar to me. And this is what we talked about.
Video calls involve our entire self to convey our messages — our eyes, ears, our tongue, our face. While talking as exciting as much, our attention cheats us to less than 100%. Being in different spaces, our attention span gets pretty dissolved in our respective space, you see. I, for instance, if I am on a video call, I get to see the person/people on the screen but unfortunately not just them. I start to see things around the screen as well. I start to bother about things happening around in my space. I bother to respond more efficiently to my surroundings as compared to how I would on a normal voice call dampening the purpose of communication. Moreover, I tend to look at myself on the screen more than others. Narcissism? Maybe. Or maybe just the self-consciousness at play. I start to care more about my body actions when I am engaged in a video call rather than the voice one. Ok, the voice call! I will come to that… When we are on a voice call, there is only our pair of ears that plays the major part. We hear and we respond. The passage of communication is just one. Or let’s say our communication is more focused(?).
Again one would argue that the video conversations are very similar to the physical conversations as they are more real. BUT, the only difference is that there is a wall in the former medium. The wall(the screen in this case…)is indeed a very significant liability that causes the dispersion of attention.
What I have noticed also is that this idea is less true when it comes to conversations with the closest people. When it is your parents/ partner/ ‘best-est’ pal that you are talking with, the video conversation becomes less artificial(?) as the person on the other side do not really care about our ‘organic’ attention. And the self-consciousness doesn't ever give a shit too.
“What about hologram then?” Pahie asked. “What about that?”
Holograms again break the space barrier. You are virtually in the same space. And that’s why it gets even closer to reality.
‘Ephemeralization’ is a word I learnt from reading Roshan’s blog. It is a term coined by R. Buckminster Fuller, defined as the ability of technological advancements to do “more and more with less and less”. How technology helps us to do a lot of things by actually making us do very few things.
When I bring ephemeralization to what we are talking about here, the concept is true but only when it caters to the quantity of information. More and more things could be done with less and less human efforts.
I believe the depth of the information/message would be communicated better with the “less and less”, here, ‘less’ being the number of media/tools. I mean to add that the quality/realness of message becomes “more and more(real) with less and less(media/tools)”. For the same reason, I believe what they say about letters. More communication with less.
P.S: Please don’t stop video calling me. I still love the company.