If there’s a villain of the pandemic, other than COVID-19, it’s probably Zoom. The videochatting platform is making people tired, it’s making people awkward, and it’s making people sick of their own faces. Zoom is such a shoddy substitute for real life that, according to one survey, nearly one in five workers has illicitly met up in person with colleagues to discuss work. And in another poll, a third of women said they were “talked over, interrupted or ignored more frequently” in virtual meetings than in person.
Zoom haters: I hear you, and I validate your experiences. But Zoom is actually great! Don’t get me wrong. I love reporting in person—in fact, I’ve missed it dearly. But I find working in an office, public speaking, going to big parties, and attending important meetings in person enormously stressful. I prefer Zoom for all of these things, and I’m going to miss it when it’s gone. So will many other socially anxious people.
Though I enjoy elements of in-person socializing, I don’t really miss some of its trappings, like doing my makeup, parking, or sitting in an overly air-conditioned Starbucks, buying coffee I don’t want, just to talk with someone for 45 minutes. My favorite quote that captures this sentiment is by a man named William, who told New York magazine, “I’m just dreading traffic, ‘meet me at the coffee shop at three,’ ‘I’m ten minutes late,’ baby showers, [gender] reveals. Like, I don’t want to do any of that fucking shit.” Some of us cannot wait for the bustling energy of normal society; others of us are standing athwart all the fucking shit yelling, “No thanks!”