Overheard on CNN.com: Is Facebook video chat awesome or yawn-some?
Skype CEO Tony Bates listens Wednesday as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg describes his site's new video chat feature.
July 6th, 2011
04:51 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is Facebook video chat awesome or yawn-some?

Comment of the day:

“Great, so now everyone on my friends' list will know how I really look and my Photoshop secret will be out.” - Freedom444

Friends coming to you live

Facebook on Wednesday announced a video-calling feature for its 750 million users that will be provided by Skype, the well-known Internet video chat program. The move comes shortly after Google launched a competing social network that also features a video chatting program.

The news had many CNN.com readers wondering if the new feature will affect how people portray themselves — and interact — on Facebook.

Davethecanuk said, “For all those women who try to take a picture of themselves from above, in weak light, with their head tilted, hiding that double chin just got a little tougher. Thanks, Zuck!”

Thoughtbox said, “Does that mean I have to wear clothes when surfing Facebook now?”

TGD783 said, “Facebook users don't want Skype. Ninety percent of people's friends on Facebook are fake friends, and a face-to-face interaction is the last thing Facebook users want. People will stick to making narcissistic status updates, wanting you to comment on them without actually having to talk to you.”

Guest responded, “That may be your experience on Facebook, but it's far from being everyone's. There are plenty of people that are excited about the feature and have been asking for it.”

th3cheat added, “Yeah, I have both Skype/Facebook and an active social life. Get off your anti-fad horse.”

Ahead of their announcement Wednesday, Facebook alerted the media that they were launching something “awesome,” but many CNN.com readers missed the wow factor.

james1095 said, “Video chat? *yawn* Party like it's 1999; it was quite a novelty back when webcams first got cheap, but I haven't seen anyone doing that in years.”

barrychapman said, “AND................... (DRUMRULL) - IT'S SKYPE CHAT!”

Jodey said, “Video chat is the ‘awesome’ new Facebook thing? How 1998! Lame.”
alison112 responded, “Next ‘awesome’ announcement will be the ability to fax friends via wall posts.”

LameParade said, “Wow! Now I can REALLY stay in touch with people whom I haven't seen in 20 years/don't care if I ever see again. Thanks FB!” But clstevens responded, “And I can keep in touch with my family in the U.S. while I'm deployed overseas without going broke on phone charges. Thanks FB!”

cbg865 said, “OK ... that was awesome. Other social sites have already, but Facebook has over 750 million users ... so that's important.

But NebraskaCub said, “Why not just hang out with your friends in person?”

youpraygame responded, “I would love to hang out with my friends in person, but they live at least two hours away. So should I just not talk to them at all? I think I'll take Facebook over nothing.” themarsist said, “Well I live in Canada, I have good friends in Mississippi, Texas and California. ... I do prefer their immediate and live company but that is very much an impossibility.”

JohnnyOh2323 said, “Ha, ha. We're coming full circle back to actual friendship that involves genuine communication.”

Condolences for military suicides

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will begin sending condolence letters to the next-of-kin of service members who commit suicide, said a White House statement. With a steady rise in Army and Marine suicide rates in 2004-2009, senators and family members of service members who committed suicide hope the decision will help end "stigma" of a war's mental health toll.

CNN.com readers welcomed the news.

Dare2Know said, “While this is a long-overdue correction of a policy that should never have been place to begin with, it is the preventative measures that should be the focus.” mclark256 said, “Agreed. Condolences are cold comfort. We should be focusing on prevention.”

DollyD said, “My belated condolences to any family that was effected by this heartless policy. Loss of a loved one to suicide is probably even more devastating. I would like to know if survivor death benefits and burial benefits are different when a death is by suicide.”

AaronT3 said, “As a veteran, I think once again President Obama has shown true compassionate leadership with this action. Knowing a loved one's loss is great no matter how it occurs. CNN, you guys should have named the "group of senators", I'd love to send them a thank you letter personally.”

alwaysrite9 said, “I like your idea. Here's a list of the senators: Barbara Boxer, California, co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus; Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut; Richard Burr, North Carolina; Ben Cardin, Maryland; Richard Durbin, Illinois; Patrick Leahy, Vermont; Mark Pryor, Arkansas; Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia; Jon Tester, Montanta; Mark Udall, Colorado;  Ron Wyden, Oregon.

Guest said, “Wow... I didn't know there was such a ban! So we used to put our young men in unbelievably horrific combat circumstances, subject them to severe brain injury and loss of limb(s) and then our government would not recognize that in many instances it was their decision to serve that directly led to their suicide? Incredibly cruel, especially to the families. Thank you President Obama for reversing this abomination.”

KC3482 said, “No one makes the decision to commit suicide except the person who kills him or herself. War, PTSD, none of that ‘makes’ someone do it.” ChaiTai said, “Suicide is caused by pain and anguish and a feeling of no way out. Try being in Iraq for a while. You'll know what I mean. I feel for them.”

Drakecageful said, “War is both a physical and emotional activity for the soldiers we send to battle. The death of one soldier by an enemy bullet is no more noteworthy than one who dies as a result of the traumatic effects of war.”

Prometheus said, “This was a heartless policy, and I want to extend my condolences as a former veteran to any who have had a loved one so affected that they would take their own life. We are beside you. We will not desert you. We will not leave you behind. We will listen to you. You are important to us, your Brothers and Sisters. For those who have passed we miss you. For those who are in pain, we want you to stay with us. We will not allow you to carry your load alone. We are a family. ‘Unitas Per Fidem’ You are NOT alone.”

Adopting an adult

Charee Godwin-Smith and her husband, Kerry Smith, recently adopted a 20-something Marine aviation operations specialist who says that, when they asked him for his permission, "For maybe the first time in my whole life, I felt truly loved.”

CNN.com readers were touched by the story.

thatguy181 said, “Need a NSFW label. Would have been highly unsafe for a grown man to be seen programming away on his computer and suddenly start crying. Very good story. The kind of news you actually want to hear about.”

kath148 said, “I think this one is actually very touching. Imagine someone doing something just for the joy and kindness of it!” Brenttt said, “This is a great story. God bless this family.”

Commandrea said, “What’s nice is that he will have a family to bring a wife and children home to for the holidays and a support system that will allow him to continue a new branch of the family tree.”

Readers also seemed eager for a change of pace.

NYreader1 said, “Finally a story that is positive. I am tired of reading sad/depressing news all the time. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Amen to that family and the love they could share with someone who didn't experience much of it growing up. That family is aces to me.”

JasonKS said, “If this isn't a definition of love, I don't know what is. I heartily agree with others: This is a great story to see. So much ‘bad’ stuff lately that reading this really reminds you of what's important.”

Justme1983 said, “If you haven't lost a parent at a critical age like him (I was 12), you may not relate to this. To have a family want to take you in as their own is a true blessing no matter what age. I hope they all have a wonderful life together.”

demiricous said, “There should be more stories like this and less miserable ones.” stevef222 said, “This story is definitely a breath of fresh air after watching the Anthony family on TV.”

iBod said, “The best news story I've seen all day. ... Can we please talk about this all day tomorrow instead of that other overly annoying story that has been nonstop for the past month?” Davidg55 said, “Shh. Don’t mention it. It will hear you.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Jim

    I live quite well without Facebook. Don't need it. Don't want it and I can already video chat for free to my nephew in Afghanistan on skype for free without Facebook. Just another useless toy.

    July 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zaphod2000

      I wouldn't use facebook for anything in the world. I am not interested in finding anyone. I don't care what you or your family looks like today that is so different from the picture or story you sent or told yesterday.
      People need to go outside and make friends and not sit in front of a computer "making" friends.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RollingOntheFloorLaughing

    I love the photo they chose for this article. Mark Zuckerberg looks like he just stepped off the little bus. Someone was having fun when they picked this photo of him over all the others. Thanks, CNN!

    July 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    Once again, Facebook does nothing new or original and just has the user base to make it seem exciting to some people, all because they added a common tool as a feature. Definitely a "yawn" factor.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joseph P.

    Here's a thought! For all of those people do don't like it, don't use it! Shocking thought, I know...

    July 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • You people are dumb

      I don't use it. I'm exercising my 1st amendment right to criticize something on a public opinion website. Shocking I know. You just did what you're complaining about others doing. If you don't like my comments then go somewhere else. Shocking I know. Believe it or not the criticism of FB might help them correct what users don't like about it. They are getting free focus group types of input, instead of having to pay someone. Shocking I know.

      July 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HELEN G

    I hope they put USMC79 and Mike in jail for breaking into the fudgefactorry and eating all the tuurdz.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    @Helen G: Hi. You have sausage breath.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. anonymous

    I was an avid user of FB since it came out...practically my whole life was on those pages. Hours and hours spent building and sharing, for years! Then about 2 mo. ago, when a friend would click on a photo, they would find themselves at a website instead of looking at my pictures! Obvioisly someone hacked into my FB, so I deleted it. (yes, even though i deleted it, it's still there waiting for me to sign-in, but I'm thinking it's just going to happen again and more frequently to more people, so forget it)

    July 7, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stan Carey

    Like in very complexed cases . . . . . . I would like to see JUDGE PERRY , Make a VERY RARE , BUT TRUE RULING from the BENCH . Which he "SETS ASIDE VERDICT , then DECLARES this WHOLE THING as MISTRIAL . Which because of complexities etc . . . And that the JURY did NOT , spend enough time nor didn't even ask questions etc . . .

    I really think he should make this a SPECIAL RULING , because of it.

    However , BECAUSE of RE-TRYING CASE . . . Casey Anthony may be RELEASED on PERSONAL RECOGNIZE , but , she must surrender her U.S. PASSPORT as well , she must report to PRE TRIAL OFFICER till RE-TRIAL is completed .

    Also , trial be held again in ORLANDO. As well JURY must be selected from ORANGE COUNTY .

    This is "only way" I can think of to SATISFY . . . EVERYONE ??????.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Evil modem hog

    Aww man thats so awsome. Im totally gonna teabag all my friends via the internet. They'll go on 2 check out their status or update us on the fact that they just ate ramen 4 dinner- even tho yesterday they were totall ballin cause they heard their favorite lil wayne song- and low and behold my furry man giblets are staring you rite in face

    July 7, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. TvNYC

    I find Facebook to be only for conceited people (full of themselves.) If I want to contact a friend I'll call them or text them. Now I got FaceTime, so no need for facebook. Hope everyone has a great day!

    July 7, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      I'm no fan of Facebook, but your perception is very misguided. Many people, who are normal and not "conceited", use it for photo and interest sharing. Don't confuse My Space for Facebook.

      July 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. c. hill


    July 7, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Chuka Chris

    I like it..at least I don't have to go search for some of my Facebook friends on Skype before I video chat them. Facebook should just buy Skype then because personally, I don't have need for Skype anymore since I can video chat directly from Facebook.Facebook should ialso mprove security if this innovation will stay relevant.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sandy

    When I'm on the phone, I don't want you to see me, and I certainly don't want to see you. Unless you're really really hot.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ryan

    Ooooo, video chat. That is pretty cutting edge, exciting technology. Good thing is hasn't been around for....oh wait. Facebook has peaked and has no place to go but down. Dead within 5 years, just like My Space. If I'm Zuckerberg, I sell NOW.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
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