In certain movies and TV shows, you’ll often see what the writer(s), director, and other crew members think people of a certain age group should be doing. It doesn’t always work out the way they’d like, and sometimes they’re completely off base. Oftentimes, even. Hollywood isn’t typically the best place to go when you want to see a realistic slice of any particular group, and you can run down that rabbit hole just going from one genre of film to another.
Still, they try. And sometimes when you see something happening so often, and it seems so natural for the characters therein, you sometimes can’t help but wonder, “Are kids really doing that these days?” I eventually found myself asking that question a few days ago, when I finished up the first season of Scream: The TV Series.
This is a show that’s supposed to be fitted within the horror genre, so obviously there are going to be moments where the kids — and adults — act really dumb, say stupid things, and get themselves into really ridiculous situations, all for the sake of the script. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. In just about every single episode, we get to watch as these people, the “kids” in high school, video call one another. Texting was a bit of a rarity in the show, but video calling? The complete opposite.
When I was in high school video calling wasn’t a thing, so I can’t really compare my own situation back then with how the TV show represents the way kids communicate these days. One character did call an adult “ancient” for thinking they (the kids) were still on Facebook, which I found pretty funny, and couldn’t help but wonder if that’s something that is indeed happening.
Are kids flocking away from the biggest social network? What are they going to these days? Snapchat?
In any event, I planned on asking all of you about this, about video calling, and then today Google went ahead and announced Duo, a brand new platform for video calling. I’ll be honest with you, Duo sounds pretty awesome, especially with the “Knock, Knock” feature, which allows you to see a live video stream of the person that’s calling you, before you answer the call.
Google said they did this because the reason someone is calling you is just as important as the call itself, and, perhaps even more importantly, the person that’s receiving the call might only want to answer if they know what the conversation is going to be about. With a standard voice call that’s practically impossible, but with Knock, Knock, you can see a newborn baby all swaddled up, or see a birthday cake with burning candles, so you get the gist of why you’re receiving a phone call before you hit the accept button.
If Google is launching something like Duo, they must have some kind of data that tells them voice calls are things people do. And quite often, too. Google sees a market that they can capitalize on thanks to improved technology, and Duo is that answer.
I’m not entirely sure that Google has answered my question, so I’m turning to you anyway. Do you video call people? Do high schoolers video call all the time? Is Google’s Duo the greatest thing for video calling ever? Are you video calling someone right now? Let me know!