No One Wants to See Your Face --- The Slow Adoption of Video Conferencing

I remember a million years ago when Skype was released to the masses.

I remember the initial excitement over Rogers video calling via smart phone.

I remember being super keen to try Facetime.

I remember the grand reveal of business video conferencing rooms.

Every device I have has a video camera. Every computer, every smart phone, every tablet. Why is it that video chats, and vide conferences have had such a slow adoption rate? Any google search on slow adoption of video conferencing will point to a myriad of issues. User in-experience with the technology, high cost of set up (in a business environment), discomfort with the camera, the inability to look into someone else's eyes...... Despite the fact that video conferencing has been around (in some form or another) for over 85 years, it's the least adopted technology by far. According to Forbes Magazine, only 20% of the population has used it.

I spend between 4 and 6 hours on the phone a day. I could easily be spending that same amount of time in front of a web cam, having the same discussions. But I'm not. I'd be hard pressed to find a concrete reason for this aside from the following:

  • I generally don't get *gussied up* when I work from home. A mascara-free Julie is not someone you want to spend an hour with on a video chat
  • I walk around a lot.
  • I multitask

Those three little issues are what's holding me back from the video chat.

Do you use video? For work? For fun?

I think it will be the folks who use video tools in their personal lives who will push the business community into using it more. After all, it's likely more engaging, builds better relationships and increases productivity. Still --- in my head, I'm not ready for that next step. :-D