The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Who's Zoomin' Who?!?

Marion Charatan

Posted on November 11, 2021 12:05

1 user

No, not the late great Aretha Franklin song--but online meetings...

Is your life an endless barrage of Zoom meetings and events? Mine is-- and I don't particularly like the method of communication that is a staple during the pandemic. Although it has been helpful to have Zoom, Skype, and Facetime as communications tools, nothing can replace in-person human interaction; something always gets lost in the translation in virtual activities. 

Now I do online exercise classes, rather than expose myself to whatever nasties are flying through the air in a packed gym. The instructor, Michelle Damis, is fabulous and is a seasoned stunt woman/actress who gives me a daily lift. But, dang, I'd much rather be in her class live, with others, than watch her on the screen in my living room- exercising alone. Something is energizing about being in a group of like-minded exercise enthusiasts, having a chat, or even going out for coffee afterward. 

Business meetings have changed, too. There is a great advantage to meeting by Zoom, though. If you are truly bored, you can turn down the volume--or at least go into the kitchen and start dinner, unbeknownst to your colleagues-- and just run back into the room fast when you hear your name attached to a question. You can get away with wearing sweat pants (but always make sure you have a nice top on and your hair is combed, at the very least!)

Another area where I prefer in-person relationships is education. I just read a piece by Joshua Kim called 'Why Virtual Meetings are Bad for Constructive Conflict." The author referred to educational applications. I could not agree more. He points out that nonverbal cues are absent in Zoom interplay and it can be tough to interpret true intentions.

Over two years ago, I enrolled in a Business Communications course at North Seattle College that looked interesting. It was an online class. What irritated me was the long-winded process to get into the syllabus and coursework, along with the 'introductions' the professor requested we do; plus write a synopsis about our lives. I received random pictures of a classmate's cats and felt obligated to comment.  I thought to myself, 'Who would give a rat's ass about what hobbies I have, what I like to eat on vacation, etc.?!' After all, students had not registered to hear about me, it was not about me-- it was about the course. Needless to say, I felt there was a lot of time-wasting along with meaningless chitchat circulating. 

There is no substitute for seeing human expression and body language. I tend to be a visual person and the flatness of a TV or computer laptop screen is disassociating for me. Two-dimensional looks artificial and makes me conclude the 'social interaction' I am having is fake and flawed. All this Zooming fills me up with an empty feeling. I don't always love what people do-- but I do prefer to connect in person.

Marion Charatan

Posted on November 11, 2021 12:05

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: NYT

Humanity has never built anything like the outpost that orbits Earth about 240 miles above the planet. These are some moments...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest