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Guilt Free Zooming! [continued]

Ever start reading a book and realize after a while that you’re not really enjoying the book, or even worse…you’re starting to really hate the damn thing?  While reading you start to think about chocolate chip cookies or how you’d rather finish up the Reader’s Digest article you started on how an aardvark saved some guy from drowning in the Caspian Sea.  Well that’s how it is with me and some Zoom meetings.  This whole Zoom thing attacked us like a falling meteorite and now I kinda wish it would go back to where it came from.  Now I must admit that I have had some nice experiences with Zoom birthday parties, camera club meetings etc.  HOWEVER…there have been some where I was so sorry I clicked the link and joined.  Here are just a few of the reasons that after a while, that “Leave Meeting” button becomes so tempting.  First, I see people in those little cutsie boxes off to the side that I really would choose not to spend any time with; not now, not tomorrow, not ever.  Second, I’m getting tired of hearing the presenter saying, “Just hold on a second folks, I can’t seem to be able to share my screen…Bill, can you see my screen?  Can they?  Oh, never mind, there it is.”  Apparently, this is today’s version of “Houston, we have a problem.” Third, the topic is not exactly as advertised.  I couldn’t wait till Thursday to watch the Zoom webinar on how to photograph birds.  Instead, I’m hearing about the origin of the name “Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.”  I don’t care if his name is Alfred E. Neuman, I just want to know how to get his eye tack sharp!  The list goes on and on.

My biggest issue with these virtual fun fests is that I now deal with, yes…you guessed it…Zoom Guilt.  Like the book I can’t put down, I feel compelled to stay on, staring at the  horror on my screen rather than simply clicking on “Leave Meeting”.  I worry that other attendees will say, “Where’s Rick?  He was with us before.”  Maybe they’ll think I just couldn’t hold it in anymore and made a mad dash to the potty or, even worse…He left because his Depends needed to be changed.  Will they consider me a deserter?  Will this result in a dishonorable discharge?  How will I face them if we ever have a real meeting again (wishful thinking)?  Yes, Zoom Guilt is real.  My therapist said so.  She said that I must dig deep within myself to find the true meaning of why I’m so afraid to duck out of a meeting.  Perhaps, it’s connected with my guilt about cutting English class, or missing the “mandatory” meeting at work which I skipped so I could go to the beach.

The bottom line here is that we must all be on guard.  We must realize that at any time during a virtual meeting, any of us is subject to experiencing the pangs of Zoom Guilt.  I’ve seen several TV ads selling various products which claim they’ll help alleviate this problem (Zoomvil, Zoom Bismol) as well as several support groups out there such as Zoom Watchers.

So stay alert.  These are trying times and you must adjust.  Finally, remember, “Only you can prevent Zoom Guilt”.

Thank You.  This has been a public service message