I have seen the dark side of laptops with built-in webcams and microphones. It’s not leaked videos of you doing a naughty dance for your significant other, or some bizarre government conspiracy to spy on everyone in the country. It’s much simpler than that. It’s a little thing I like to call, video chat PDA, and it could very well be the next cutsie pandemic.
My roommate’s girlfriend recently moved to Baltimore to start her teaching career, and since my roommate still has a semester of school left before he graduates they are trying out the whole long distance relationship thing.
I’m sure it’s been hard to transition from seeing each other every day to living 600 miles apart, but it’s only for six or seven months, it shouldn’t be that difficult, right? They started things off by calling each other multiple times a day, chatting online at every possible moment and e-mailing little messages whenever the other wasn’t logged in to one of many instant messaging programs. But they completely changed the game last week when I walked in on a video chat between the two.
There wasn’t anything sexual or dirty going on—I actually would have supported that, everyone has needs. This was much worse.
I had just finished an eight hour shift at work, and was looking forward to sitting in front of the TV and eating dinner before I even thought about doing anything productive with my time. But what did I see smack dab in the middle of the couch when I walked in; my roommate baby-talking his girlfriend for the whole world to see.
They weren’t just talking like they do on the phone—I’ve overheard that and it’s completely normal—for some reason because they could also see each other they felt the need to flirt at a level unknown to me. There were so many “babes”, “huns” and uses of the word “widdle” I almost blacked out. How am I supposed to relax, or eat when that’s going on?
Almost every couple in the history of ever acts like that at least once in a while, but nobody wants to see it. If you have to be cutsie do it in a more private location; it’s just polite.
But this wasn’t just regular old PDA, stupid technological advances have made it possible for my roommate and his girlfriend to subject friends and family to this flirting anywhere an internet connection can be found. They don’t even need to be in the same state anymore.
The worst part about the whole situation was that they didn’t stop after I came home; they thought they were being “funny”—making faces at the camera, moving in and away from the screen, and making sounds even infants would find insulting.
I’m not upset that they act like this with each other—that’s probably a good thing, and healthy for the relationship or something—I’m upset that I had to see it. I thought the apartment was going to be a PDA-free zone this semester, but a tiny little camera and its microphone friend have changed everything.
I love to keep up-to-date on new features and gizmos that are introduced for computers, and I usually think they’re cool, but whoever designed the built-in webcam and microphone needs a good talking to. He knew not what he did when he introduced this concept. It could be more dangerous than Sky Net (that’s right a Terminator reference; deal with it).
I fear that some day soon we single people may be surrounded by more baby-talking, digitally flirting, no you log off first-ing couples than we’ll know what to do with. The cutsie levels could be nauseating.
(Image source: Flickr)