One of the benefits of all this time at home is that I am now officially an expert in video conferencing. I Zoom or host webinars probably 15 times a week. I know how to schedule, record, moderate, participate, mute, share screen, enable a waiting room, change my name to something funny like Mommy Dearest or System Error, invite people in and kick people out. I’m a veritable Hugh Jackson (as P.T. Barnum, not Wolverine) of the greatest online circus shows in history!
Not that it beats in-person interaction. I’d give up my red hair (which, I must say, is still looking incredible given I haven’t seen my stylist in forever. Miss you, SP!) to be in a classroom with my students or host a Derby party with my neighborhood peeps. But I have been pleasantly surprised by the way virtual gatherings have filled the social void. Yesterday, for example, I was on a Zoom call with my friends from high school who live in North Carolina, Kentucky and California. We talked and laughed and cried (not me, I’m stone-cold dead inside) for well more than an hour. And if it hadn’t been passed my bedtime, we might have gone on all night, or at least until 10 p.m.! Getting to see their faces, read their body language and toasting each other with our various cocktails made a huge difference for me. Even us introverts need an occasional dose of community to lighten the spirit.
So, I think once the madness has subsided and we return to our normal lives, I’ll continue to be the master of the Zoom domain.