Zoom Fatigue

The world abruptly changed in mid-March. The COVID-19 pandemic ripped the fabric of our society. People elected to social distance and shelter in place. Cancelled activities and postponed events depopulated calendars.

ZoomForced to work from home, the church staff discovered Zoom Meetings. The nifty app creates a virtual meeting space for online participants. Thumbnail pictures populate the screen, resembling a 21st century “Brady Bunch” or “Hollywood Squares.”

One feature enables participants to change their screen names. In past meetings, I have assumed the alter egos of Captain Jean Luc Picard, Tony Stark, Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Bruce Banner, Bilbo Baggins, and Peter Parker!

People learned that online meetings are exhausting. The inability to read social cues, body language, and facial expressions degrades communication. A new phrase has entered our lexicon: “Zoom Fatigue.” By the end of most days, I am Zoomed out.

According to Genesis, the first problem God found in creation was Adam’s loneliness. Therefore, the Lord created Eve to join him. We are individuals created for community. It’s not good for anyone to be alone.

I’m thankful for technology, but meeting online is like holding hands while wearing gloves. A line from an old hymn has gained new meaning during the present crisis: “God be with you till we meet again.”

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