OPINION

Dickson: FaceTime sleepovers are a thing

Oct 5, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2023, 2:10 pm

More and more people are using FaceTime to have sleepovers. Some say it makes them feel less lonely...

FaceTime sleepovers have grown in popularity over the last few years. (Kittiract Roekburi/Shutterstock)

(Kittiract Roekburi/Shutterstock)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

I find I am learning a lot from my freshman students at the University of Utah. I teach a class called Media and Society. When we were discussing the subtopic of media and relationships this week, one student told the class, “My girlfriend expects me to sleep with her on FaceTime every night.”

Say what?

“Yeah,” he said. “We say goodnight and just leave the app running all night long.”

“Why do you do that?” I asked.

“I think she wants to make sure I’m not cheating,” he laughed.

Saving the trust issues for another day, I asked the class of 30 students: “Show of hands — how many of you sleep with a significant other on FaceTime?”

Half of their hands went up. Half!

Just ask Quora about FaceTime sleepovers

If you look at the question-and-answer website Quora, you will see multiple questions asking something like: “Is it okay to sleep with my boyfriend on FaceTime?”

There are hundreds of answers, but most of them are a variation on the theme of “yes.”

One poster pointed out, “Decades before cellphones, couples would fall asleep with each other on telephones.”

Another replied, “Do what makes you happy. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

The Atlantic did an article about this practice back in 2020. In that story, the writer Kate Gray pointed out that the “sense of togetherness can be especially powerful for long-distance couples.”

It is a way of overcoming the longing and loneliness of being separated for work or other reasons.

My call to attention, parents

When I got home from class that night, I brought up my new discovery at the dinner table.

“I learned today that some young people, well — people of all ages — but especially young people, fall asleep on FaceTime,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” my 18-year-old son replied, “I’ve done that.”

“What?”

“It’s not a big deal, Mom,” said my son — a common reply in my house. “If my girlfriend feels insecure or anxious, I just leave the app on. It helps her fall asleep.”

“Hum. Good to know,” I replied.

That gave me even more to think about.

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Dickson: FaceTime sleepovers are a thing