Hangin’ out with Google

Posted on August 19, 2015


hanging out with google
Do you hang out? I don’t think I ever just hung out, even when I was a teenager. Unless you count quietly reading a book all afternoon. I could never see the point of just sitting and doing nothing, even if I was in the company of good friends.

Google, which will soon take over the world, has an online feature called, “Google Hangouts.” What is this, you ask? According to Wikipedia, “Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by Google which includes instant messaging, video chat, SMS and VOIP features.” SMS is like text messaging. Think of VIOP as using the Internet for your telephone.

So, you can think of Google Hangouts as the Internet equivalent of hanging out.

Free exercise classes! Yep, I’m there. Except they are on Google Hangouts. There is a very good reason that I work out alone at 4:30 am. Let’s just say that grace and coordination are not my strong points.

I dutifully click on the link for Google Hangouts, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. A video screen appears with a very fit looking person, doing some warm up stretches in what seems to be his living room. Suddenly, he turns towards the camera and says, “Okay, time to work hard! Make sure your hangout is activated so I can see you.”

Me (to myself): “Um, what!!!!! First of all, how the heck do I activate a hangout. I thought I already did that since I was able to access this fitness guy.”

Mr. Fitness Guy: “Good! I can see most of you, but it looks like some of you have not yet activated.”

I look around the screen and see little thumbnail videos of the other class participants. Except these folks are moving around and looking very young and fit. It looks like I am the only one not in true hangout mode. All you see for me is a still picture of my smiling face.

Mr. Fitness Guy: “Let’s get started.” He proceeds to do some light cardio. Well, that’s what he called it. To me, it was like torture cardio. At least I can sort of keep up with what he is doing.

Mr. Fitness Guy: “Now let’s move on to pushups. None of those sissy pushups where you only go down part way! Either stay on your toes and do pushups or get on your knees and do them. Just make sure your chest is going all the way to the floor, otherwise it doesn’t count.”

Me (to myself): “Oh dear, even with if I do pushups on my knees, I can’t go all the way down to the floor. Well, I could get down, but then I would just be laying facedown on the floor.”

Mr. Fitness Guy: “Let me hear some feedback from you guys! Let’s hear it!”

The other participants do something with their computer screens and comments magically appear. Overwhelmingly, the comments are positive.

As for me, I have no idea how to make a comment, so I just sit and read the other comments. I sneak a look at the clock and am dismayed to see that only 15 minutes have passed! I am also paranoid, thinking that Mr. Fitness Guy can see me slacking.

Finally, a cooler head prevails and I realize that my computer doesn’t have a built in camera. Hard to believe, I know. But when Mr. Ken built this computer, he didn’t include a camera. Why? Who knows.

I have decided that I have done enough boot camp for tonight, but I am afraid to sign off, since my absence would be very noticeable. (It’s a small class.) Maybe I should just leave the computer running and go do something else.

Enough hanging out; I think I will just stick to YouTube videos of Jessica and Peanut.Ā  At least I know that when I am watching these, Jessica can’t see me. šŸ™‚

So what about you? What has been your experience with Google Hangouts?

Photo is courtesy of Greg Mote’s Flickr Photostream, under Creative Commons Licensing.