REPORT: If You Were Not Here, Your Roommate’s Skype Conversation With His Girlfriend Would Be Different


CHAPEL HILL, NC — Expanding on previous research on Skype calls between college-aged couples that take place between 10:00 pm and 1:30 am, a new study published by Henry Frotizien, a UNC-CH professor of sociology, shows that your roommate’s Skype conversation would “almost certainly be different” if you were not in the room.

Professor Frotizien’s longitudinal study concluded that, “with 95% confidence, your roommate’s conversation would not reflect, in the slightest, the odd, whispered chattering you hear while you are at your desk trying to finish up homework.”

In an interview, Professor Frotizien discussed the impetus for his research.

“We had long observed that, when you were present for the call, your roommate was lying in bed, talking with his girlfriend in a high-pitched whisper voice about mundane daily activities,” Frotizien said. “Not only was he speaking in a tone of voice that he does not use with his girlfriend in any other context, but conspicuously, he was not discussing anything of depth with the person he is closest to in this world beside his mother.”

“Our study has shown, scientifically, that this is not the way he would otherwise be talking,” he said.

It is still unpredictable, according to Frotizien, what your roommate would be talking about, and in what manner, if you were not around, but that in virtually every case, it would be completely different.

“They could be talking about disgusting, filthy sexual things, or maybe fighting, or maybe even being silly and cutesy–we just know that it would not be the weird banter they they have when you are in the room, possibly listening to the conversation,” Frotizien said.

The report also found that, in addition to being different, Skype conversations would typically last much longer if you were not present to start going through the motions of getting ready for bed, hoping that your roommate would just take a hint.

Your roommate, however, called the report, “misleading.”

“Sure, the conversation might be different, but dude I totally don’t mind you being in the room. My bad if I am inconveniencing you, like, I don’t want you to feel awkward, this is your home too, but I also have to talk to her, ya know?” he said. “I mean, like, it’s no problem.”

Frotizien said he hopes to further investigate whether your roommate and his girlfriend are typically talking shit about you or having a fight when they type during their Skype sessions.