Saturday, September 18, 2010

Skeered of Skype

I mentioned last week that the lovely editors over there at The Pear Tree have started a meme on Fridays, called A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words.   Now typically Fridays are reserved for my sometimes awesome, sometimes futile efforts at creative writing for The Red Dress Club (this week's effort was a tragic and trainwreck-y affair that I refuse to publish.)  However, I am assured by Mrs Pear Tree that out of the goodness of her heart she will allow me to join up very early on a Saturday morning.  If I'm very sorry and if I tell y'all about the meme.  So DO IT! (But please:  all the rest of you don't get my special dispensations, so really, you need to get your assignment in on time.)

Here's the picture this week: 

Now, you faithful readers who've been around for a bit may remember that I'm a little obsessed with air mail letters.  You could go back and read my post on bloggers as the new pen pal, and the art of the long-distance letter,  and my little ode to the aerogramme.

But today, I'm writing about the anti-letter.  Otherwise known as Skype.

There was a little conversation on FB yesterday about Skype - how everyone loves it so much for when their husbands are out of town on business, how the kids are fascinated with talking to daddy on screen.

I have blogger friends who Skyped each other loads before ever meeting in real life, and I'm sure its an incredible way to be friends.  In fact, my friend Jamie tells me he's up for a Skype convo, seeing as email isn't really his thang.

Here's the thing:  Skype STRESSES ME OUT.   I'm not great on the phone anyway.  I feel fragmented, inarticulate, and anxious to get the conversation over with.  Yes, even conversations with my husband or my mother.

Skype, in my view, makes all this worse.  Not only am I twitchy and unfocused, but the person I'm Skyping with has a full view of me in all my ADD glory.  They see me yawn, they see me staring at the ceiling.... I feel the pressure to put on a show.

My kids are obsessed right now with a tv show called Liberty's Kids - a cartoon about various stories from the Revolutionary War:  in one episode, we find out that Abigail Adams got exactly TWO letters from John Adams in his 18 months in Paris.  TWO.  Not two phone calls.  Two letters.  From the man who fathered your 6 kids, who is some big shot in the new American government, and who has swanned off to Paris for almost two years.   So to be 'limited' to "just a phone call" all of the sudden started sounding not-so-tragic.

I'll tell you:  I love my husband, and he is an incredible partner and father when he's here. Participates in pretty much everything.  But when he's away on business, it doesn't help me to chat face to face.  No matter how off-the-wall the kids have been, a little face time isn't going to change it.  I know he misses us when he's away, I know he understands all the challenges of parenting on one's own.  He knows he's missed in a big way. But honestly, to survive the long days & nights on my own, I just have to get stuck in, get on with it, and not spend a lot of time on how I wish I had some help around here.

Is this cold hearted?  Am I on a tragic path towards living in separate homes as old people, because we get along better that way?  I hope not.  Skype is a miracle.  A lifesaver for some.  For me, it is yet another technology I just don't get.

Anyway.  I know I'm a Luddite.  I know I need to get with the times.  I'll figure it out, just like I found my own little way on Twitter.  But I'm just sayin':  nobody wants to see the faces I make when I'm on the phone.


Cheryl said...

"I know I'm a Luddite. I know I need to get with the times."

You said it, sister. ;)

I don't skype w/ hubs when he's gone. But I DO skype w/ JCoop and skype chat w/ friends and family (which is like instant messaging). I love it! And I don't care what I look like or what I'm wearing. That's the beauty of it, so to speak!

Emily@remodelingthislife said...

i used to use skype so my kids could talk to my parents when they were traveling. but it was annoying. the kids couldn't sit still. everyone looks in the little window to see what they look like instead of at the camera so they are looking at who they are talking to. weird.

I guess i don't have anyone in blogland who likes me enough to want to skype with me. I'd skype with you and we could be nervous and awkward together. fun times!!

Lori-Anne said...

Thanks for playing, Kirsten! I, myself, love the *idea* of Skype, and may be more inclined to use it if my family weren't all living within blocks of my house. However, the times I've tried it, it always seems awkward and forced - possibly b/c of the slight delay? And, like Emily's kids, I tend to get distracted looking at myself.

Thomas said...

I love Skype, but you knew that ;-)
What I have started to like more and more about it is the fact that you can "hang out" with your friends. They are doing exactly what your doing, surfing, reading and looking at stuff. Think of it as me sitting in the yellow house kitchen surfing while the two other to adults in the house are doing the same thing and talking when it feel natural-when you find something interesting on the web or had an idea, but this is the good thing, you get to do so with someone who is not there.
The camera is a choice, that can be for for the advanced users - like our kids.
Be scared Kirsten, the new iPhone comes with FaceTime :-)

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