At first, it seemed I was in a science fiction film. I am that old. I remember "party lines," busy signals, and when you used a circular dial that rotated for each digit of the phone number! Homes had one telephone, of course--with a long cord. But now I could instantly see and hear someone thousands of miles away--and for no charge outside of my cable fees. The quality of the video was not excellent, but it was like having my own television connection one-on-one. We talked for about forty minutes. I had not seen this person in a year and a half. The last time was in Hungary, while I was speaking at a conference. At one point, the video broke up and it looked like horror film! But that was only for a moment...
What is the significance of this? Seeing someone live does add a dimension of the personal. The face is a marvelously expressive instrument. But I do not always want people to see me when I speak. Don't we like the invisibility of the old telephones in many cases? One would also need to be careful about who is allowed to "beam in" to your computer. There are kinkos out there, after all.
What is your technological exegesis of this new medium?