Videochat: The Cupholder of Social Networking

Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantiic:

In this way, cupholders became indispensable. Not because they were a fundamental part of car-based mobility, but because every car company felt the need to start putting them into their cars. Of course, once they got there, people started to use and evaluate them, comparing the relative merits of various designs. Something few people wanted and fewer people needed became a feature you can’t escape.

And as with cupholders, so will go videochatting. As of the past week, the ability to videochat is pretty much ubiquitous and we’ll all do it now and again. But the cupholder isn’t the car, and to treat the ability to videochat in any form as tantamount to transforming communication would be reaching too far. Videochatting might become indispensable, but I think it will remain mostly irrelevant.

Think about it — how often do you actually videochat?

[Source]

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