Texting during a video phone call

Yesterday, I was waiting to meet someone at a coffee shop and was looking around, bored. I noted unsurprisingly, that half the people were on their cell phones. I was intrigued, however, by the girls sitting next to me. They looked like they were in their early twenties and they were having a video call with a boy using a cell phone. The girls took turns talking with the boy but interestingly they spoke very little; instead, looking at the boy’s face on the screen, they rapidly used their thumbs, engaging in a text conversation.

That struck me as being very weird- is it faster for them to text than talk? I was puzzling over this thought in my head- if that were indeed true, what an evolutionary milestone in communication that would be! My curiosity finally got the better of me and when they were over with the phone call, I asked them why they were texting instead of talking.

The answer turned to out to be a simple one- result of technology and etiquette. The girls said that in video phoning, they had to speak a little louder for the phone to catch their voice since they were holding the phones in front of their face; not directly next to their mouth. Because of this, it was more difficult to hold private conversations and they didn’t want to disturb the people around them.

-But then why not have a regular conversation instead of a video one? Isn’t video phoning more expensive?
-Yes, but he wanted to see my friend too.

Ah yes, video phoning makes it very difficult to lie about where you are and whom you are with. Not that people do…or do they?

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