Mar 10, 2023

Tired of Zoom

March 9, 2023

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of Zoom. I’d really like to go back to in-person meetings and appointments.


There are a lot of reasons for my dislike. Some are minor irritations such as the fact that the cat always manages to knock over something or that the doorbell rings just as I get settled in front of my computer. Then, there’s the fact that I happen to live in an internet desert where the only connection I can get is slow. That means that I risk getting dumped out of any meeting I attend – usually right at a crucial point.


Then there’s the difficulty in communicating on Zoom. If a large group of people is attending, talking to any one person is almost impossible. I sometimes prefer to watch a recorded version of a meeting or a webinar since they are edited. I don’t have to sit through the glitches that often pop up when meeting virtually.


For me, the biggest benefit of attending a meeting is the chance to talk one-on-one with other attendees. Over the years, I’ve made friends and found solutions to many genealogical problems at various meetings and seminars. I miss that in-person, face-to-face connection.


I can, of course, understand that for the last few years, Covid has meant that in-person meetings have not been an option. That’s especially true in the genealogy world, where many of us are older and are more at-risk. In addition, many of the older genealogical cohort are not comfortable driving at night, especially in the wintertime. Zoom has also given us the opportunity to attend meetings at a distance. Anyone anywhere in the world can attend a meeting in Colorado nowadays.


All of this means that Zoom is most likely here permanently. I’m learning to accept Zoom as a fact of life in the 2lst century. Recently I’ve been attending a few more meetings via Zoom, and it’s true that the more I use it, the more comfortable I feel with it.


I still would rather meet in person, and I have no plans to attend a lengthy institute or workshop virtually. However, virtual meetings have given me a chance to see remote presenters who the local Society would never have been able to book in person.


LCGS experimented with a hybrid format last summer and hopefully they’ll consider doing more of that in the future. That might be the best of all worlds for both stay-at-homes and Luddites like me.


Carol Stetser