Society’s Honeymoon with Zoom is Over. Most People Want a Divorce
June 19th, 2021 by Diana Ross
Prior to the pandemic lockdown, Zoom had about 10 million daily users. But, by April of 2020, that number had skyrocketed to roughly 300 million.
At first, Zoom was great. It was a simple and reliable way to conduct meetings, enabling millions of people to keep their jobs during a global lockdown. It even bled into usefulness in our personal lives, as we started to have virtual cocktails and virtual cheese tastings over Zoom.
However, more than a year later, most of us are so over Zoom. When the world returns to some semblance of normalcy, most of us hope we never have to take another video call. The honeymoon is over, we had some good times, but it’s time for a divorce.
The Zoom Effect
During the early stages of the pandemic, most people learned something very quickly: It’s almost impossible to stop yourself from staring at… yourself. The small window with your image at the bottom of the screen is hopelessly hypnotic. You can’t look away, but you try to act like you’re paying attention to the speaker.
If you had any sort of insecurity about your face going into the pandemic, it was quickly amplified when daily Zoom meetings became the norm. If you have never like the shape of your nose, you have probably spent a lot of time Googling nose job transformations these days.
In fact, Zoom calls have had a very real impact on the plastic surgery industry. It has been dubbed The Zoom Effect by people in the industry. According to The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 70% of their members have reported an increase in business during the lockdown, and 83% of those respondents have attributed it to The Zoom Effect.
Remember giggling a little bit when Dan, the 60-something Boomer from accounting, struggled to use the technology? Or how we would laugh at each other’s wacky backgrounds? These things aren’t cute anymore.
Technical snafus and mindless meandering to start Zoom meetings are now seen as massive time-wasters. The meeting is virtual, but your annoyance is real. You just want to get off the call, back to work, and possibly back to bed for a nap.
Zoom Fatigue was a buzzword that a lot of people laughed about in the early days, but it’s a very real problem. In fact, it seems to be impacting women even more than men by about 13%, and experts believe that this unique form of trauma could stay with us for years after the pandemic.
So far, the work-from-home lifestyle has not been what most of us expected. Many people looked forward to the prospect of rolling out of bed at 8:45 AM and working in our pyjamas until well after lunch. However, that’s not how it has been at all.
We all feel the need to get camera-ready in the morning, and the experience has been exhausting.
So, if you’re sick and tired of Zoom and ready to go back to good old-fashioned face-to-face interactions, you’re far from alone.