04/25/2011 08:18 pm ET Updated Jun 25, 2011

Face Time

Do you remember when you could talk to anyone on the phone and not think for a second about the way you looked? Thanks to modern technology, those days are over. Now, because of smart phones, Skype and cameras on all handheld devices, we can no longer hide behind our voices. Soon we will all be seen and heard with each conversation short of a text. Who would have thought that our phones and computers would one day resemble a new reality TV show?

This is good news and bad. Seeing the person you are talking to is definitely more intimate. The question is do you always want to be seen? Think about it. Are you ready to look good 24/7? Is this too much to ask of anyone? I know you're thinking that video chat is an option. I also know you won't be surprised when it becomes an automatic component of communication. Here are some suggestions to take the pressure off visual communications.

  1. Don't try to look perfect, just look good. Always put your best self forward. This can literally mean running your fingers through your hair to place it properly or putting on a pinch of lip gloss. Think of this as a 10-second touch-up. 
  2. Posture and body language count. Think about the way you are sitting or standing. This speaks volumes about you and your appearance.
  3. Find a good angle and practice your pose. We all have a side or angle of our face that is the most photogenic. Know it but do your best to look natural. Using a mirror, find the perimeters of your best angle and try to keep your face in this range. This will take practice.
  4. You must always be aware that you are on camera. Don't multi-task while face timing. This sends the message that you don't think your conversation is important and is rude to the person you are video talking.
  5. It is most important to remember your natural smile.  A pleasant facial expression makes a huge difference on video. Sometimes being pensive can make you look like you're angry.
Ready or not, technology is changing the way we conduct our lives. Its original purpose was to make life easier and less complicated. Sometimes this  new way of life works in reverse and makes our lives more unmanageable. If this happens to you, remember there is always an easy way out.

Just turn off your phone.