15 Jan, 2017

a saturday night virtual playdate…

Sehbar Sarwar
15 Jan, 2017

“I’m at 10:21 seconds,” calls out Minal.

“I need to catch up—I’m at 10:24 seconds!” Minal’s friend’s voice ricochets from Minal’s video phone that’s propped up in front of our television screen.

“I’ll pause,” replies Minal.

Minal and her friend are participating in a “virtual playdate,” through which the girls—one in Pasadena, California and other in Houston, Texas—are watching the same Amazon Prime TV show. Speaking on video-phones with their I-pads projecting the show onto larger screens, the girls have timed their viewing so they can experience each episode at the same pace. Last night was a practice session, but tonight is a marathon.

During a break, I ask if they would call their virtual visit a “playdate” or a “hangout.”

Minal’s friend pauses and then responds: “A playdate!”

“Yeah,” agrees Minal. “I’d feel weird saying ‘hangout.’

“We’re not there yet,” her eleven-year-old friend explains.

14 Jan 2017 · 09:38:08 PM