Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 06/06/2022
Zoom (does anyone still use Skype?) has become a great alternative for remote work, reinforced by the demands of the pandemic. It remains quite useful for interactions that large distances would frustrate and for sudden needs where advance planning needs to be minimal.
But the pandemic is over, and we’re now dealing with another endemic illness which is largely being handled by each individual (vaccinate or not, mask or not, distancing or not, travel or not, and so forth). For those of us meeting in person again, the otherwise subliminal shortcomings of Zoom and its ilk become quite apparent.
You can’t socialize or network on Zoom. You can’t share a meal, a drink, a friendly punch in the arm or slap on the back. You can’t share a car ride or a hike or pet someone’s dog.
The three-dimensionality of interaction is vital to fully appreciating others. In person, we’re not as abrupt or rude or condescending or judgmental as we are on, say, Facebook. (We can’t be, or we’d be asked to leave or be punched in the mouth.) It’s fascinating to watch the meeting of people in person who, theretofore, only knew each other via remote means. They say, “You’re much taller than I thought!” or “You’re older than I imagined!” (these are blurted out before the speaker entertains the thought that they had been solely interacting via a four-inch screen shot).
We share more when we’re physically together, we’re more supportive, and we gain a far fuller understanding of our colleagues, clients, and customers. And, of course, these meetings make subsequent remote calls far more personal and effective.
I’m writing this from Kauai and you can’t fully appreciate this place without being here. If you’ve seen pictures of the Great Wall of China, you know what it looks like but you really can’t appreciate it until you’ve stood on it, feeling like an ant. If you want to spend your life looking at four walls and a computer screen, then that will be the totality of your life and relationships, and that’s not a requirement, that’s your choice.
And if that’s your choice, you’re suffering from something far worse than Covid.
The worst cruelty that can be inflicted on a human being is isolation. —Sukarno
We don’t function well as human beings when we’re in isolation. —Robert Zemeckis
With technology, there is so much isolation with people now, that there are very few places where you can connect. —Mireille Guiliano