So, how is your day going?
Personally, I’ve had a busy, but productive, morning talking to clients over Zoom.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still finding ‘Zoom’ calls tricky.
Not the technology, it’s pretty straight forward for someone as technologically savvy as me. I say that with my tongue slightly in my cheek – although I do pride myself that, at times, I’m able to work two remote controls at once during a heavy Netflix session.
What I’m talking about is the unwritten elements to Zoom – the nuances that we’re all (slowly) getting used to…
For example, where do you look?
It may seem a strange question, but think about it.
Do you look at the other person (for ease of argument let’s assume there’s only two of you)? In any other context looking straight into the eye of the person you’re talking to is essential – but doing that is difficult in Zoom.
If you actually look into the eye that you see (on the screen), the other person gets you looking downward – which is subconsciously odd. Counter-intuitively, to look straight into the eye of your fellow Zoomer you must look into the camera – which means you don’t actually see them and miss a whole host of non-verbal cues.
To be honest, I often find myself looking at me. Rather than being driven by some narcistic urge, my fascination with my own fizzog comes from a growing sense of horror. It’s a similar feeling to when I have my hair cut – after 30 minutes of staring into my mug I find myself making mental promises to lose weight, moisturise and… well, you get the idea.
Will I ever act on any of these impulses for self-improvement? It’s unlikely. But Zoom is bringing these concerns into my consciousness on a far more regular basis than life used to back in the days where I could simply avoid mirrors.
Then there’s the time delay. I’ve gone from constantly tripping over the sentences of my co-Zoomer, to leaving such long gaps between speech as to make both of us check the connection hasn’t frozen.
And how do you say Goodbye on Zoom? Do you wave? Do you smile. Do you press ‘End’ and then realise you have to press another (additional) button to truly end the call, leaving you with the lingering feeling that your co-Zoomer’s last impression of you was one of frustration as you fiddled with the tech.
As we go into this second Lockdown, many of us are feeling a little gloomy. I certainly am – sequels are never as good as the originals. But I do maintain a thanks for video calling technology – imagine how tricky a pandemic would be without it. And beyond that, there’s a determination that by the time we’re all Covid free, I’m going to have mastered Zoom.
Watch this space.
Really, that’s the end.