Sunday, February 6, 2011

FaceTime, my mortal enemy

One of the benefits of having kids is that it made me much less attached to material possessions. Partially that’s because we don’t have money now for me to have any, and partially that’s because whatever stuff I do have, the kids ruin. There is one one possession, though, which I positively treasure and that is my iPhone. I feel a real, robust love for my iPhone and yes, I have been known to sleep, curdled up next to it.

But iPhones get old and decrepit, much like people, only faster. So on New Year’s Day, with my two year plan at an end, qualifying me for an upgrade, I got myself a NEW iPhone, the fancy kind they call 4G. I was excited about the upgrade mainly because my old phone’s battery only lasted 30 minutes or so. But I was also excited to experiment with the new generation’s features, including FaceTime.

Wow, I thought, when FaceTime was explained to me by my sister, I can videochat with someone while I move around in the world? I can just take people with me where-ever I go? That’s AMAZING. Oh, Apple, I thought, you have done it again, you ingenious computer geeks!

Then I used FaceTime, And this is what happened:

As it dialed, on the screen, was a huge image of ME! To call it unflattering would be a grave, gross inderstatement. The image was so awful that I felt confused for a moment, and actually thought, “Who is that poor, unfortunate-looking person and why are we both wearing the same hoodie and earrings?” Then with horror, I came to understand that this was me, and I swear, this revelation was so earth-shattering that I all but bellowed “NOOOOOOOOO!” and shattered the phone to smithereens.

As I was reeling from the horrible understanding that if was possible I actually LOOKED like that, it occurred to me that I was calling someone, a someone who wa sseconds away from seeing this image.

“HOW DO I STOP THIS THING?????” I shrieked out loud, desperately pressing buttons.

Then, oh sweet reprieve, my sister’s face was huge on the phone and she was saying, “Why are you screaming like a maniac?”

“This FaceTime thing,” I replied, “It’s a LIVING NIGHTMARE!”

I tried raising the phone up high, down low, to the side but no matter how I manipulated it, I still looked like a fat zombie version of myself.

“WHY are you doing this to me?” I wanted to ask my beloved iPhone, “How could you ruin what we had?”

Finally, my sister pointed out that I could switch the camera my phone was using to the one on the back of the phone and then, everything was ok.

“You know, it’s really not that interesting for me to see you making yourself a cup of coffee,” my sister remarked.

“Tough shit,” I said, “You’re the one who wanted to do this.”

I should have known FaceTime would be a disaster, now that I think about it. I was all, “The person I’m talking to can see me!” with a perky, positive exclamation point but I should have been all, “The person I’m talking to can see me!” with an agonized, horro-struck exclamation point. After all, the amazing thing about the telephone is that people DON’T see you. Leave it to those computer geeks to never leave well enough alone.