Why Video Phone Will Never Become Popular?

iPhone 4 includes a feature called FaceTime, which gives you the ability to make a video phone call.

David Foster, in his novel “Infinite Jest“, wrote that video phone would never succeed, and most people would give it up in the end.

Why?

First, emotional etress.

“Good old traditional audio-only phone conversations allowed you to presume that the person on the other end was paying complete attention to you while also permitting you not to have to pay anything even close to complete attention to her. … you were somehow never haunted by the suspicion that the person on the other end’s attention might be similarly divided.

… Video telephony rendered the fantasy insupportable. Callers now found they had to compose the same sort of earnest, slightly overintense listener’s expression they had to compose for in-person exchanges. … All of which resulted in videophonic stress.”

Second, physical vanity.

“the videophonic stress was even worse if you were at all vain. I.e. if you worried at all about how you looked. … Good old aural telephone calls could be fielded without makeup, toupee, surgical prostheses, etc. Even without clothes, if that sort of thing rattled your saber. But for the image-conscious, there was of course no answer-as-you-are informality about visual-video telephone calls, which consumers began to see were less like having the good old phone ring than having the doorbell ring and having to throw on clothes and attach prostheses and do hair-checks in the foyer mirror before answering the door.”

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THE END

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