In the first handful of months of the pandemic, much was written about Zoom Fatigue. It is much harder to sit in a day’s worth of Zoom meetings than it is to meet in person. All those people on the screen looking at you. Seeing your face up close for hours on end. So many missed social cues — not being able to look others in the eye, not knowing exactly when someone is done speaking, not being able to raise our voices in unison. For humans who have evolved to be social and connected, it’s been exhausting.
But you know what? Sometime this winter, I noticed a change in myself. I began noticing that when I was done with a zoom meeting with people I love and care about — I actually felt better. I wasn’t just drained and exhausted. I felt like I had had real, meaningful connection with these colleagues and friends. Our online coffee hours have settled into a comfortable rhythm of large group and small group conversations that keep us connected for another week. Zoom vestry meetings have allowed us to efficiently and effectively break into small groups for short conversations and come back and share with the full group in ways we aren’t able to do in person.
After 10+ months of Zoom, my brain has finally incorporated this new medium. My autonomic nervous system no longer goes into high gear because I can’t make direct eye contact with another. I’m accepting that there is value in virtual connection, and meaningful time spent online with others is a joy and a blessing.
So what about you? Think about how you feel now vs. how it felt in March or April. Has your relationship to online worship, or these Saturday reflections, or gatherings by Zoom changed at all? Are you able to feel connected, virtually, more so now than 10 months ago? I pray this change is happening for you, too.