Don’t Let Zoom Steal Your Humanity

My People on the Screen

It was finally time for lunch. We’d had a busy morning going separate directions, listening to speakers in different rooms of the conference center.

I grabbed the boxed meal available in the lunchroom and began looking around.

Where were my people?

I checked the group text. A few were responding. Someone had saved us a table near the front of the room near the coffee machine.

For a year I’d had conversations with this group of people. I’d seen their heads. I’d heard their voices. All through a screen.

And it worked. It got the job done. It was fine and I am grateful for the option. Long live Zoom.

But now it was time to see them in person.

The Back of Your Head

I finally saw a face I recognized and headed toward it. One by one, our round table filled up with people I’d previously seen only on my laptop.

Here at last I saw arms and legs and even the backs of heads. It was glorious.

There’s something special about being physically present in the same space with other humans. Seeing their hand gestures. Watching their walk. Getting to pass them the butter.

In this year of Human as my One Word, I’m appreciating the opportunities to be in the same room again with other humans.

Another Person In-Person

After we finished lunch that Friday, we filed into another larger room. We took our seats together with 2,000 other people.

We were all waiting for one more human to enter.

When the Vice President of the United States finally entered the room, we all heard “Hail Columbia,” the song traditionally played to announce her arrival.

The in-person presence of Vice President Kamala Harris brought another level of energy into the place. All eyes focused on her; all ears listened as she spoke; all phone cameras pointed toward her.

Even though we could also see 2-D close-up shots of her on the two big screens on either side of the stage, it felt different—and much better—to also watch her in the flesh.

It comes more naturally to connect with other humans in person instead of through screens.

When You Can, Do It

It’s not possible to always be in the same room with people we want to be with, whenever when we want to be with them.

But when we can, let’s do it.

That’s human.

Have you experienced meeting someone in person after only seeing them on screens? Share in the comments.

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18 thoughts on “Don’t Let Zoom Steal Your Humanity

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Lisa, this is a wonderful post, and I’m so glad you differentiated, and didn’t denigrate Zoom. Human to human–flesh and bones and eye contact and hand gestures and pats on the backs and hugs and squeezes are wonderful. I think that is what Jesus had in mind, not just in “doing human life” (we forget His humanity too often I think), with his disciples, but human to human, mingling in the crowds of humanity–and often with humans other humans avoided. (That is yet another blog topic for you)!

    All this said as the ideal, right now, Zoom has been a godsend to me. I have had daily and constant veritgo (varying in small improvements and big setbacks like this past weekend, and now, as I type…. very dizzy and hihgly imbalanced when this human being navigates around her house). Without Zoom and other forms of technology, my world would be ever more confined than it has become.

    I’ve not met you on Zoom, but I am glad to have met you via your blog, DM on FB, and emails, all technological impossibilities at home time. I’m mindful that generating all those has been one fine human being who is touching her keyboard with her human fingers and reaching my heart and her readers with her human mind and heart.

    Thank you for all you do!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I totally agree with you, Lynn. I am VERY grateful for all the ways technology has connected so many of us. I do complain about technology when it doesn’t work right :), but it’s been a game-changer in so many wonderful ways. It’s opened our world and our eyes to things we’d never know or see otherwise!

      I definitely don’t want anyone to take away my zoom. 🙂 I’m glad it’s been such a godsend to you too and allowed you to stay in contact with the world in a way you couldn’t have otherwise due to your vertigo.

  2. CraftAtticResources

    There are some situations where being in person is so important but honestly in others zoom has really improved my life because I don’t have all the stress of getting to the meeting, perhaps not having brought something I needed that I could readily have retrieved during a zoom call, etc.

    Being present is invaluable in some instance but honestly zoom has been a truly positive game changer for me in others because I reduces the stress and anxiety and it still gets the job done. Not every experience is better when you have to travel to get there.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You make a great point about how zoom has improved our lives too! I can’t even begin to list all the beautiful connections I’ve made through zoom the past three years. Without zoom, I wouldn’t have even known about the people that I eventually got to meet in person in this post.

      As someone who likes to optimize my time, I also agree with you that it’s nice to cut out the traveling time (and getting ready) too. Lots of positives about zoom! 🙂

  3. Stacy Duncan

    Visiting from a linky party, and I loved this post! There’s something that I think we’ve lost in the advancement of technology! I struggle with texting a lot, especially with my kids who have been texters vs in person talkers for so long now. I encourage them to try and make relationships in person. I’m glad you got to experience meeting these people in person!

  4. Aritha

    I once met someone I only knew from blogging. ? She’s a Dutch blogger and so am I. She was in the vicinity and asked, ‘Should I have a cup of coffee at your place?’ ☕ I found that nice and a bit exciting at the same time. I must say, it was truly wonderful. Afterward, I read her blog with even more love and interest. ?

  5. Linda Stoll

    after all we went through with covid and zoom and masks and isolation, how grateful we all are to be face to face, where we can hug, give a high five, or whisper a kind word.

    your beautiful story rings oh so true, Lisa.

  6. Cecelia Lester

    I recently consented to be a Prayer Point Person for our church. This put me in a position to represent our church in our annual conference in the movement we joined. At present our conference encompasses four states. Our prayer network had a Zoom meeting last week. We will have them every other month. I appreciate having Zoom meetings.
    I participated in the Lymphedema Advocacy Group that helped get the Lymphedema Treatment Act passed last December. This summer, we had two Zoom meetings to learn what we could do when the CMS had its public input time where people could read the guidelines and comment on them. This group is nationwide. The leaders HAD to use Zoom!

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