Videophones: Why aren't we using them?

Sears Catalog Videophone
Videophones have been around for a while. I remember them from the Sears catalogs of the early 90's. As a youngster I dreamt of convincing my parents to spend the $1,500 to buy one so I could actually see friends and family on the phone. It never caught on, not with my family or anyone else.

Back then, the equipment was too expensive, but, now with the ongoing increase in resolution and decrease in the price of bandwidth, why aren't videophones more common? 

Sure, we have Facetime and Skype and use them occasionally, but why doesn't everyone have a designated videophone in their house? You know, the kind we see in hosts of sci-fi movies, the kind that displays a life-sized, realistic image of the caller on the TV.

I think it's because we're generally too dysfunctional. An optimist might phrase this another way by saying, "we value our privacy", but isn't this just a sneaky way of saying that we want to maintain unrealistic representations in our relationships or just can't be honest with others? Why can't someone just be honest with another person about the reason for wanting, or not wanting, to use a videophone in a specific situation? Why would someone you were close to be offended if you multi-tasked a little or weren't looking your best? This type of honesty could be good for our relationships if communicated properly.

Back to the Future Videophone
Instead, people shy away from telepresence and videophones nearly everywhere but work where people keep their game-faces on throughout the day, anyway. If texting is to a telephone conversation what a telephone conversation is to telepresence, why not be upfront and take our communication to the next level? Why not strive for genuine relationships that are genuine enough to exist in a world of in-home telepresence; relationships that can handle the honesty conveyed in micro-expressions and body language?

With Google Fiber entering the market, we may have another chance to adopt the technology of videophones. When it happens, I won't be the one pressuring all my friends and family to use it, but I'm also not going to be the anti-social one making excusing for why I haven't bought one.

Certainly will be taping over the lens when not it use though!