Thursday, March 6, 2014

Photo of the Day: The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Skype

This photo represents the (sad-ish) new reality in communication. It is a Skype image caught (this one earlier today) on my cell phone camera. My son, right in the photo, tells me Skype has a photo caputre, but it's all I can do to set the damn thing up so we can talk (badly) and view each other (out of focus, low resolution). But at least there's that.

I'm looking into alternatives. At least one--Facetime--requires an iPhone or iPad and I don't have the former and don't know if I can afford the later for just this feature. I have a "notebook," though not an iPad, and rarely use it.

It's difficult to talk with kids in this format because, first, everybody wants to talk at the same time, when they'll talk at all, and second, the kids' attention span is pretty brief. I told Maddie I felt like I was interviewing somebody for a story and that I was going to have to learn--all over again--to ask questions that can't be answered "yes" or "no." A typical response, though, is something like: (Me) "Tell me about your school, Maddie." (Her) "I don't know." (Me) "Well what did you do today?" (Her) "Not much."

I did discover after some real reporter digging that she dressed as Snow White for school today and that they haven't found a swimming pool yet, but they're looking (that's for you Annette Patterson), and that they have found a house and are waiting to move in until they buy a car. The house "is about as far as you are from downtown Roanoke," says Evan (my son), "and here that's pretty far out." I live maybe three miles from the center of Roanoke.

So, it's great to see (kind of) the family and lovely to talk to them (though hardly the leisurely coffeetable conversation that's best) and I thank all the people who made this possible. I'm waiting for the next generation to improve the reception and my skills as a reporter to improve the back-and-forth. We'll get there.

No comments:

Post a Comment