So how many of us are seeing variations on this theme over and over again throughout the day?
(Honestly, I’m of a generation where my preferred metaphor would be The Hollywood Squares. But I couldn’t find an openly licensed picture from there, so the Bradys will have to suffice.)
Alternately, if you are of my generation, you might have a certain theme song running through your head whenever you log onto a now-ubiquitous teleconferencing software package.
I’d imagine my workdays these days are looking a lot like lots of people’s workdays. (And school days, for that matter.) Just lots of thumbnails in Zoom’s gallery view of the 6 or 16 (or 30 or 50) participants in such-and-such a meeting.
But the piece I’m finding extra-fascinating—and even a little bit inspiring—is the way so many folks have been harnessing these same technologies to maintain social connections in addition to getting work done. I’ve already been to one Zoom birthday party for a friend, and we’ll be having a similar party for a different friends birthday a few days from now. We’re also getting together for the occasional “just ‘cos” coffee hour.
And it’s not just me. My sister’s friends surprised her with a Facetime birthday party recently, and Matt and I have friends under lockdown in San Francisco who are attending a Zoom party tomorrow night.*
One of my college classmates has started hosting Zoom happy hours. We had one earlier tonight–I think when you count the different comings and goings, there were 20 or so MHC alums and friends from all around the country spending time together.
Several of us were asking why we hadn’t thought to harness technology in this way to keep us closer together until now.
This is a place where the perspective shift of COVID has some potential to remind me of what’s more important in life. To encourage me to get over some of my insecurities and to risk reaching out.
To remind me of exactly how precious these faces are to me:
(And to believe, in defiance of all my internal voices, that my own face just might be equally precious to these lovely souls.)
You know: We’re all talking about this as the age of social distancing.
Everything I’m living seems to be much more about maintaining, creating—even deepening—our human connections with each other.
Physical distancing. Social connections.
* Held, as far as we can tell, for no special reason aside from the desire to have some fun in the midst of lockdown life. Which is a purpose I can totally get behind.
My dear friends: Hanvin. Used with permission.