Sunday, July 4, 2021

Facebook Portal: There's No Escape


Yep, I'm going to rag on Facebook Portal a little more.  Sue me.

The tech for video phones existed back in the 1950s, but we didn't get them because of lack of demand. That's right, good old-fashioned Capitalism killed the video phone because for decades people didn't feel the need to see the person they were talking to- in fact, didn't want to see the person they were talking to, and didn't want the person they were talking to see them, either.  In a way, it was about maintaining privacy- I'll talk to you but I'm not going to invite you into my personal space,  and I'm not tidying up my apartment or making sure my background is pleasing to the eyes just because I need to talk to you on the phone.

Then we got the ability to see who we were talking to on our phones- and the vast majority of us preferred not to use that feature.  In fact, we seemed to do a lot more texting than talking, because it seems safer and less formal and (best of all) we can just stop texting and don't have to go through any awkward "well, I better get going" moments leading to "goodbyes" when we can mercifully hang the hell up and get on with our lives.

Well, Capitalism is all done waiting for us to want to use the tech it invested heavily in.  You can talk to people through Facebook Portal while on your laptop, but that's not good enough, either- so here's a camera you can attach to your 60-inch HDTV, now instead of watching that baseball game you can talk to a huge version of that person you just (maybe) wanted to talk to for two minutes in glorious MassiveVision in your living room.  And that person can see your entire living room while you talk.  And if you thought "well, gotta go" was slightly awkward over a regular phone, and significantly more awkward in a Zoom call, how do you think you're going to pull it off while talking to someone who looks like they are standing right in front of you?  What are you going to say, "it's been fun but I really want to do something other than be in front of this camera, and there IS this baseball game on I kind of want to watch....?"

Sorry, Capitalism.  I can't even begin to describe how very uninterested I am in buying into any of this. In fact, this makes texting look better than ever.  

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