FaceTime and the Perils of Public Discourse

The theme of mobile open dialogue and Internet browsing is trending. I partly blame FaceTime and mobile video conversation for this emergence.

As a daily train commuter, I see a lot of the ways people deal with technology. And by far the most invasive development of them all is FaceTime.

FaceTime allows iPhone users to chat face to face on their mobile devices. While this is fantastic for home and work conversations, bringing family and colleagues into your space, it’s typically a nuisance for everyone else if used in public.

FaceTime is training users that it’s ok to broadcast live video out loud, including YouTube. Yesterday, one man on my train was blasting a movie preview on YouTube. The guy behind him was talking to his wife on FaceTime about dinner plans. Thankfully someone had the courage tell them both to quiet down.

If you’re going to chat, watch online videos and movies or listen to music, the proper etiquette is to use headphones. We already overhear enough banter as it is; we certainly don’t need to know what you’re doing tonight or what movie you’ll illegally BitTorrent next.

Unfortunately, I think technology continues to evolve like a Google Hangout where everyone gets included on the conversation by default. Before, we were just spying on each other. Now we can’t figure out a away to get away from each other.

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