What’s face time?


Whoopi Goldberg had a funny special on Bravo a while ago about modern life as it is being experienced by those of us weaned on free love and then conscious parenting… She observed, rightly, that while our children are smarter than we are, we are raising a generation of “barbarians”. She was commenting on the fact that our children are proficient tweeters, and IM’ers and texters. But they have too little interactive with real people in the real world.


Enter face time.


I would bet that some enterprising young graduate student has already tracked how much less face time kids have today versus even just a generation ago. It is obvious – the only question is how much less face time do our kids today have versus even 20 years ago. I would bet the actual figure would horrify most of us.


Our kids spend more time in front of devices instead of spending time interacting with human beings. And they are the worse for it. It was Whoopi’s point and it is well worth noting.


So what to do? Instead of bemoaning the situation and throwing up your hands in surrender. Fight fire with fire. Use technology to solve the problem it created.


Enter video chat.


You heard me. For those of you who think it is not for them – think again and get over it. Our highly mobile kids need to be with us even if they are not with us. Video chat has become so easy, that most anyone can figure it out. There are a few ways to do this, including a free video chat software from a company called Paltalk. With this software (and a webcam) you can see your kids and they can see you. In fact up to 10 of you can see each at once. Go get it and get on with it.


Face time – delivered technology style.


Judy Shapiro  

A picture is worth a thousand words – (or more if you want to stay sane in the current free fall.)

The past 10 days could be powerful evidence for the influencing strength of imagery in our cultural psyche. So many images depicting financial ruin fed on itself which caused people to panic which then caused the downward cycle.  These negative images were the fuel which the ignited the financial conflagration. Just too many images …  fed to us in no small part by the Internet.


And since the Internet was part of the problem, it seems right that the Internet can also be the source of the solution.


One way to stay sane and create a safe space for yourself amid this panorama is to reach out to each other. Build of small group of trusted comrades where you can discuss issues but within a context that will expose you to lots of voices. This in turn will provide perspective. And this gives you the confidence to act responsibly. Ideally these groups should have a visual component to them to balance the onslaught of the current visual bombardment. You can create a SuperIM video chat group for free. You can chat with up to 10 people in your circle “face to face” via this service (no other service allows so many people to chat together visually). This is a good case where a picture is really worth a thousand words since a friendly face can do a world of good. It’s great fun, distracting and highly entertaining. You can sign up at http://register.paltalk.com/reg/landing_pagc120.jsp


If you want broader communities, there are lots to choose from. One easy way to find a community you like is to check out community portals like PalTalk – arguably one of the largest portals that give you the opportunity to enter chat communities easily (video chat also available). This is a fun way to use the power of imagery to bolster your courage in today’s turbulent times.


A picture is worth a thousand words – so use them wisely.

Judy Shapiro

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