Video fetish

One of the upsides of lockdown has been the rapid, albeit forced, adoption of remote working technologies. One of the downsides has been the obsession with video calls.

So many people’s endless meetings have migrated to endless Zoom calls – and it is knackering. Staring at that screen for call after call has become the norm for too many, and all in the name of “face to face” communication.

But is it really so important?

For three years in my first job at the BBC, as a clerk booking editing and lines facilities, I conducted my entire job on the phone and never met most of the people I worked with. It didn’t cause a problem and we built up some great relationships and trust.

During a recent Zoom call someone started banging on about the importance of eye contact and I had to point out that because he had his Zoom window in the bottom corner of his screen, and his camera was top centre, he hadn’t “made eye contact” with me once during our call and as a result looked decidedly shifty!

Don’t be bullied into turning your camera on. If you think better walking round the room, if you are tired of arranging your seat in front of your carefully selected rows of books, if you are getting back problems maintaining that unnatural newsreader position, do yourself, and the rest of us, a favour, turn the bloody thing off!

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