FaceTime overload

Laura K. Silver is a trustee of the Jewish Light who writes a blog for the paper’s website (stljewishlight.com/laura). Laura is married and the mother of two middle school age children.

By Laura K. Silver

The new iPhone is coming out and with it, I hope, is one minor change. Ever since I got my iPhone 6 back in February, I’ve been having a little issue.  No, it’s not the battery (although mine does tend to run a little hot).  It’s not the size of it either — I’m getting used to it.  This one is a bit embarrassing, to be truthful, but I may as well speak up. I’m hoping I’ll learn it’s a universal  defect and not just me.

Here’s my issue:  I keep accidentally FaceTiming people. Don’t get me wrong, I love FaceTime. I’ve been waiting for it ever since I watched the Jetsons, and I now often wonder why this is not the norm of communication rather than exception. Wasn’t the phone really just a substitute until we got the technology? Apparently, I’m on an island, but I digress.

So far this FaceTime problem hasn’t resulted in any significantly humiliating situations — although each time it happens, I envision “what might have been.” Before too long, I know I’m bound to end up mortified in some way.

I don’t  know when they added the FaceTime conversion option on the screen showing your regular phone calls. For all I know, it may have been there all along, but the way the iPhone 6 is designed, I can no longer cradle my phone on my shoulder to free up my hand without running the risk of ending up with a FaceTime call. You’re probably thinking, “then don’t do that,” but practically speaking there are times when I need both hands to do something and it ends up against my shoulder.  It’s just going to happen.

Most recently, I was on the phone with my daughter’s friend’s mother and we were planning whether I would drive or she would. I cradled the phone against my shoulder, pulled opened the door to Nordstrom and found myself face to face with her.  “Why hello, Ella, how are you? You’re looking well.” 


The situation is made worse where I’ve entered a husband and wife together as a single, joint contact rather than giving up them their own independent contact card. Since discovering this FaceTime problem, I have spent hours separating people out, but a few still remain. 

The first time it happened (yes, there was a second time with a different husband/wife combination) I was baffled. One minute I’m in my pajamas on the phone in my kitchen with Melissa and the next, I’m still in my kitchen holding a pot with one hand, stirring with another, but now so is Danny, her husband. (Fortunately, he is my neighbor and has probably seen me take the trash bin down the driveway in a variety of equally attractive outfits when my husband forgets it is trash day, but on that particular day, I was not planning to see him.)

“Danny, what are you doing in my kitchen and where did your wife just go?” I was left to wonder. He was in a field, playing soccer with his son, looking equally confused and wondering what emergency was happening that was serious enough for me to FaceTime him. In retrospect, he probably thought I was having a wardrobe crisis.

Fortunately for me, until Apple fixes this problem or until the world catches up and agrees with me that this really should be the communication standard, I’m not particularly vain and as a general rule, I’m dressed in acceptable clothing. Nonetheless, I worry that some day, I may be caught off guard.

Let’s hope that it is at the same time my battery overheats and turns my big phone off.