Feinstein and her toddler son have a daily video chatting routine. They chat with her parents or his baby cousin over lunch and his other grandparents before dinner.
“We mostly talk with family, and I totally credit video chatting with letting him form relationships with grandparents that he only sees a few times a year. Frequently interacting with them over FaceTime has made it less awkward when we see them in person; we haven’t had to reintroduce family members to him,” Feinstein says.
Feinstein believes that video chatting has a much more personal element than staying connected over the phone. “I’ve never been much of a phone person, but video chatting feels so much more intimate—almost like I’m having an in-person conversation with somebody.”
Feinstein occasionally uses Skype but finds FaceTime much more convenient because she can connect anywhere there is Wi-Fi, not just on her home computer. Another huge perk for Feinstein is the ability to see family and friends on a daily basis without paying for a plane ticket.
Good lighting is key. Feinstein recommends not sitting with your back to a window or lamp because it will be hard for your companion to see you. “And cell phone etiquette still applies even if you’re video chatting: When in public, talk quietly and wear headphones instead of listening on speakerphone,” she says.
Video chatting is very simple now that most devices have built-in cameras, no longer making it necessary to hook up external cameras. “The process goes a lot smoother, whether you’re using FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangout,” says Feinstein.
The only downside of FaceTime is getting those early morning chat requests. It is completely acceptable to deny a 6 a.m. FaceTime call. No one wants to see your bedhead.