M. SCOTT MORRIS: Seeing goes with talking these days

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

I stumbled onto a 21st century social faux pas the other night. After many years in the slow lane, the Morris family jumped to high-speed Internet in 2012. We quickly learned our computer was from the Jurassic era, and did an emergency wallet-ectomy to correct the problem.
Long story short – too late – we’re Web ready and relatively up-to-date for the first time since 1998.
One of my favorite newfound capabilities is video conferencing, but that sounds too formal. We’ve been Skype-ing and FaceTime-ing with folks far and wide.
I’m assuming most know what I’m talking about and have been using these services for years.
But we’re accommodating here at the Mighty Daily Journal, so I want to explain for the two or three readers still fighting the good fight against the Too Much Information Age.
Skype and FaceTime are services that allow you to talk to people also while seeing them on the screen of your computer or mobile device.
I remember craving this ability in the 1980s, when a buddy from middle school moved to Southern California. We both thought it’d be cool to see each other while we talked on the phone.
It was the stuff of science fiction back then. Or magic, I suppose. We would’ve taken it any way we could’ve gotten it, but it wasn’t possible for us, so we moved on.
Things are different in the 21st century, and the Morris clan has enjoyed plenty of long-distance conversations with friends and relations.
My in-laws were the first to join us. They like seeing the grandkids more than seeing me, but I guess that’s almost understandable.
Jay Bell, my good friend from “Bradenton-Fun-in-the-Sun-Baby-Florida,” has been a regular, but it’s usually best to catch him early in the night. He sometimes gets blurrier and blurrier as the conversation progresses, and I’m not talking about the video screen.
I thought Mom would love this service, so during Christmas we hooked her up a Skype account. Here’s where my faux pas comes in.
When you go to your Skype contact list, there’s a green light next to people who are logged into the system. Mom’s light was green, so I called.
I should probably mention that Mom’s light was green at 11:35 p.m. Mississippi time and 12:35 a.m. in Marietta, Ga. I assumed she’d taken a nap during the day and was staying up late, as she sometimes does.
“But your button was green,” I protested.
“Yeah, because I don’t know how to turn it off, son,” she said with sleepy irritation in her voice.
She eventually forgave me because she’s tickled with the technology, too.
Besides, she’s a mom, so contact from one of her children is a wonderful thing, though for some reason, not as wonderful as contact from her grandchildren.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.