Before You Say You’re “Zoomed Out”
How our new, Zoom-mediated world has bred within us the skills we’ll need to flourish.
This content was developed in partnership with Conscious City Guide.
Regardless of where you live or how you’ve been spending quarantine, one of the first steps to healing in our post-COVID world is to embrace coming together—safely (obviously), to ensure our journey to healing is as permanent as it is welcome.
Which may understandably seem challenging, particularly with so many government-sanctioned guidelines in place. Yet so much of how we can navigate our new social realities consist of gifts we already have and tools we’ve picked up over the last little while. True, we may have spent the last couple of months cooped up and living digitally, but our new Zoom-mediated world has also bred within us the skills we’ll need to flourish. Plus, we’re emerging stronger and more elevated than before, having graduated from who we used to be into the people we’ve become. So this new path? It’s an adventure.
"Our new Zoom-mediated world has also bred within us the skills we’ll need to flourish"
And the first step relies on you doing exactly what you’ve been doing this whole time. The ritual of being present, of connecting to the people you care about, and about investing your time in the people you cherish isn’t one to dismiss. Since March, most of us have logged onto Zoom and engaged happily with our friends, family, and coworkers. We couldn’t look down at our phones, or scroll through Twitter while communicating via speakerphone. There wasn’t room for distractions, there wasn’t a reason to check out. Instead, we learned to thrive in the moment and to really listen. And thanks to that, we began to reshape the way in which we interact with other people—which will translate even better when we’re socializing in real life.
"We began to reshape the way in which we interact with other people—which will translate even better when we’re socializing in real life"
Especially since we’ve also learned to pick up on social cues, and that’s invaluable. Eye contact, Emoji-free reactions, and registering the canter of each other’s voices has made it easier to relate and to share. And those skills are even more essential following a difficult time, particularly since quarantine has led to so many of us facing our fears, acknowledging what we need to work on, and how to move forward with purpose. The next step? To adopt these habits that Zoom has helped breed, and to apply them when sitting next to (or across from) someone you care about, where you can revel in your mutual ability to be present.
"We’ve learned to show up on time and to show up prepared, and have come to leave our interactions and meetings feeling re-ignited and recharged"
After all, this is our new ritual. Because of Zoom, we’ve learned to show up on time and to show up prepared, and have come to leave our interactions and meetings feeling re-ignited and recharged. And why wouldn’t we take that gift with us? Why wouldn’t we apply it to those moments of spending time in one another’s company, where we can amplify what we’ve learned to make our IRL interactions even more powerful? Why wouldn’t we water the roots we planted in spring and work to watch them take root and grow? And why wouldn’t we continue to build a community and encourage it to do the same?
Of course, life as we know it will come to look different. It will blossom and evolve into an avenue for even more opportunities for communication and connection, particularly as working through the COVID aftermath will take work. But the best work is always completed by ready hands waiting to embrace new skills, habits, and rituals; by those taking what they know and making space for it in new and exciting ways.
Not that any of us are about to abandon Zoom—especially not when it’s willing to help teach us all how to cook.
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