During our video chat [Part 3], Martine was everything that was charming and delightful. I met her husband (Waves hi!). I got a tour of her house. One could see that she was at easy with the medium.
Me, not so much.
As human beings, we will always prioritize live interaction. There is something about breathing each other’s oxygen. Unfortunately, when one does not spend sufficient time among the three-dimensional, one’s social IQ atrophies. While I was never a social butterfly, I could at least speak coherently and politely. As the hermit grows stronger, the grunting and staring increases.
My favorite mode of communication is email &/or text. I think much better with a keyboard these days.
I’m liking phone calls less and less, particularly as everyone shifts to cell phones. I lose the rhythm of the conversation. What feels like an awkward pause is just the signal being relayed. So, I jump in with a comment, right on top of the other person’s response. Verbal traffic jam. I keep a landline specifically for interviews, so I don’t have this problem.
This was my first video phone call. I knew there was a reason I had been avoiding them. Video chats combine the immediate demands of live conversation with the technological shortcomings of a phone call. I kept feeling the need to rush in to fill the pauses. I was constantly scrambling for something to say. Me?! I always have something to say. If nothing else, ask a question. If I have one viable professional skill, it is the ability to think up questions. Sitting there, staring at this nice lady’s face, I froze.
Hanging up, I felt like a complete dork. The fault was all mine. Martine could not have been nicer or more welcoming. I was the Neanderthal at the dinner party.
No tour of the house. It’s not fit for public consumption. (Seriously, I need to do something.) I wasn’t even all that comfortable with the background. It’s one thing to say that you are 12 years old and that you hang up all your horse show ribbons. It’s another thing to provide proof. No scenic husband to introduce. She did get to see some of the office managers when they came to stomp across my desk.
Video chats. Not a fan.
Thank you for reading,