Zoom Fatigue? Find Some Way to Like It.

September 13, 2023


Teaching an old dog new tricks is said to be something of a fool’s errand. But, many a senior canine can learn with surprising quickness… especially if a treat is involved.  

Humans are pretty great at adapting, too. Although some are more comfortable with change than others, most people can accomplish amazing things when faced with change, especially when they put their minds to it. 2020 offered proof of that in many ways.  

One of them was the evolution of meetings. No longer able to meet face-to-face in the physical world, it was quickly learned how to emulate the experience in a digital one. Virtual conferencing sprung up almost overnight to fill the gaps left by social distancing, business closures and quarantines.  

Not everyone appreciated the migration to virtual meetings. It certainly took some getting used to. For one thing, the technology made heading into a meeting look a little different. In addition to making sure ties were straight and hair was combed, it also had to be checked that last night’s dishes weren’t still in the sink and that home-schooling children and work-from-home spouses were fully dressed and/or out of camera view.  

Everyone had to worry about wi-fi signals, properly downloaded apps and outdated cameras and mics.  

Then there was the question of etiquette. Camera on or camera off? Mute or no? Raise your hand, use the emoji or simply speak when ready? Multitasking – efficient or rude?  

Over the past several months, however, a sizable shift has been notable. Rather than feeling annoyed with the adjustment, most people are embracing the upside of virtual engagements. Although they presented a series of technology and relationship risks, they were no riskier than a physical meeting. Any number of things – from traffic to incorrect directions – can derail an IRL meeting just as dramatically as a bad connection or a broken device.  

Enthusiasm for the virtual meeting stems from quite a few positive outcomes. For starters, the 30-minute meeting is enjoying a rebirth. It has become easier to check off lists and make decisions at unprecedented speeds thanks to some really cool apps that make meetings better.  

What’s more, first-time introductions that may have happened over email or phone are now happening eyeball-to-eyeball and are so much more meaningful. When you get to see how someone reacts to your ideas or presents ones of their own, the impression is much more concrete. During a normal year, some individuals meet hundreds of people. That did not change in 2020. In fact, they may have met even more thanks to their digital set ups.  

Whenever faced with something new that you don’t immediately appreciate, Try telling yourself, “Find some way to like it.” That would be solid advice to anyone who may be struggling to adapt to the virtual meeting. Sure, there are risks. Sure, there are annoyances. But, there are also plenty of rewards for the old dog that can be found in everyone.