Antique Videophone

Videophones were invented in the 1960s.
True to life, bonafide videophone
Made by AT&T.
Showed it off at the worlds fair.
Versions were made over the years
But always remained a novelty,
A toy we never believed
Would ever catch on.

While it didn’t take,
Something eventually changed though,
As now all over the world
Video calling and conferencing is normal.

When I was in college in the late 2000s,
My friend taught English in Egypt
And told me how teens were already
video calling on their cellphones all day.
In the years that followed,
multiplying all of that with social media,
Led to the people’s revolution there.

The thing about video calling,
Is when it’s the whole tech it’s too obtuse.

But when video calling became an app
Like Skype or FaceTime or ChatRoulette,
It spread and became more commonplace.

Until in a reversal, the chat-app companies
Now make stand-alone video phones.
Like the Facebook portal.

Occasionally I wonder though,
what it would have been like if
My grandfathers had videophones
on their desks next to their Rolodexes.