FaceTime Shock and This Mortal Coil

FaceTime Shock and the Mortal Coil

FaceTime is great, I love the app and use it often. However, as I've aged, and technology has advanced, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon whenever I FaceTime with anyone who is around my age or older. If you are over 30, read on after the break; this one's for you...


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I'm in my mid 40s right now and many of my friends' ages range from mid 30s to their mid 60s and whenever we speak on FaceTime, being the savvy iPhone and iPad users we are, I always notice a moment of initial shock any time we see ourselves on those Retina displays! The high resolution screens aren't all that kind or flattering to our ever increasing number of wrinkles and blemishes, magnifying them and making us face the ravages of time.

It reminds me of the old days when we would hear ourselves on tape as we'd record a voice message on our answering machines and we would listen aghast to our voice on the machine and question, is that what I really sound like!?! Well, our voices on tape have got nothing compared to our faces on FaceTime. Talk about a reality check, especially if someone is bold enough to FaceTime with us early in the morning!

The fact of the matter is that as convenient as FaceTime is for connecting us, it is also an at times harsh mirror reflecting the passage of time. And while it is undeniably phenomenally convenient and mind blowing to those of us who grew up in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s to be able to jump on our iPhone and iPad and communicate with our friends and family around the world (most of whom seem to be younger), it would be nice if Apple devised a way (with all of their sophisticated imaging technologies) to create a FaceTime video filter. Maybe something along the lines of an iPhoto filter that, shall we say, gently softens the present condition of our genetic evolution in a way that makes it just a little less jarring every time we look in the FaceTime mirror.

Until then, I reckon those of us Apple fans who are on the more "mature" side can be grateful to mediums like FaceTime for bringing us face to face with our own mortality. All kidding aside, being reminded of just how short this life is, and how quickly these bodies use up their precious time, isn't necessarily a bad thing. With all this talk of mortality I can't help but recall of one of my all-time favorite Steve Jobs quotes: "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."

FaceTime Shock and the Mortal Coil

Thank you for the reminder, Mr. Jobs.

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Dig Om's picture

Author Details

Dig Om

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech