#Pocalypso | The Problem With Zoom

2020-05-11 – It was a gloomy day yesterday, with rain all day. I was planning to ride my bike, but I couldn’t. I spent a good part of the day at my desk in my basement working on my writing and other things. The same desk where I spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week at my job. And that’s not due to the pandemic! I’ve been a remote worker for more than 5 years. No vaccine is going to get me out of my basement.

One of the high points of the day did get me out of my basement. (I shouldn’t complain. My basement is bright and pleasant. It’s just the same day after day.) It was a Zoom “meeting” with my boys Nat and Cal, so they could wish my wife Kit Happy Mother’s Day. When Kit and I are going to both be on a Zoom, I bring my laptop to the dining room. My desk is too much of a cockpit to bring someone else into a Zoom comfortably.

We had a fun hour chit-chatting and joking. It’s nice to see the boys. And thanks to Zoom, we can at least see them—since we can’t get together because of the pandemic.

But it’s not the same as getting together. When we get together, we greet each other—maybe. It might be just one of us that opens the door. Or maybe neither of us. The boys can let themselves in. They can get something to eat or drink. They can play video games. They can take the dog for a walk. They can make US dinner. It’s much more relaxed.

Zoom is more of a command performance. A time is set to click on a link. One image appears on the screen. You wait for the others. No one is sitting on the couch. Then you have to talk. When you get together in person, there’s plenty of time for silence—for just being there. On Zoom, you feel like you have to banter. IRL you banter or not, it doesn’t matter.

Still, it is better than nothing. And you can see if your boys need haircuts or not.

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