Before Zoom came along life used to be so simple. If you wanted to have an informal meeting - you know a simple catch up - you arranged a coffee or a phone call. Basta!
If you wanted an excuse for an all expenses business trip to Milan to meet the boyfriend, you sweet-talked the boss, invented a client and promised to book an Easyjet.
Not today. Oh no, now you have to organise a Zoom. Which means downloading the stupid app thingy onto EVERY SINGLE ONE of your devices (so you’re always on) and it can stream/record your life and blemishes and reality TV from every digital orrifice you possess.
Nowadays there are over 300 daily Zoom meeting participants, which is hell in a handbasket for Zoomophobes and the much underrated, yet hugely popular art of ducking a meeting.
It has also created a monster of an industry - not just Zoom app downloads but a gazillion vendors peddling lighting, props, stands and Tik Tok videos teaching you to be Zoom cool - you know the basic stuff like atire, makeup, hairdo, voice training, ashtanga yoga and post meeting meditation techniques for ‘shit I hate these things’.
It also means that the simple phone call that maintained our final vestiges of personal dignity has gone straight out of the window (not Windows™) along with Covid apps, airport security, non business mumbo jumbo and finance guys who think the sun shines straight out of their rear view mirror. And why is it always the finance guys?
Anyway, I kinda get the Zoom thingy for group meetings or presentations or your boss wanting to fire you, but the one on one catch up has somehow, by osmosis, also become a video arrangement to hell.
Now, you have to get dressed up just to say hi on a phone! Not only that, but how does it work if you're on the street between the other kind of meeting - you know, the one in real life! Or, if you're still in bed or forgot to shave or wash your clothes, or you’re on the run.
Share your favourite Zoom moments. Leave a comment - (not a Zoom).
And let's face it, the only reason we take our phones to the latrine is so we can squeeze in (not out) those life simple text based messages between a day rammed with Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Facetime (remember that?)… and, of course Zoom.
And right when we're in latrine protected text heaven with no one staring at us - up pops an informal Zoom or WhatsApp video call and we have to struggle with the right protocol for shutting out the boss. In the ensuing bedlam we invariably hit the wrong button, getting facetime close and personal, right as nature delivers a first pass-through which means we're back to red faced, teenage flashbacks - presumably recorded by now for some unknown HR protocol.
And have you ever tried setting up a Zoom meeting or, God forbid, a presentation. Christ, stripping a car’s engine is easier. And what about the video off or mute as default - I mean, for heavens sake, we're trying to do a video call so why in hell would we want non video mode or auto mute. Tempting as it might seem… Oh, I get it now.
And when the meeting invite gets the hour wrong and we crash someone else’s Zoom - how embarrassing is that!
What happened to agreeing a phone catch up, forgetting to put it in the calendar and looking cool for missing it - in your pyjamas with a Bloody Mary!
So, this Movember forget the slightly chauvinist act of growing a seventies moustache and join us for Zoomember - yep, that's squewer a Zoom member!
After all, this Zoom nightmare was supposed to be just a lockdown thing - not a permanent stream of tubed meetings with ‘boss-up-my-a**-monitoring’.
It's time to take back our privacy/toilet time/pyjama-call/life!
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