Video conferencing has been around for decades, but the pandemic forced many of us to “Zoom” with clients, customers, and co-workers in order to communicate and conduct business. But despite the fact that we can again travel, go to the office, and get back to business as usual, many still prefer to work at home and to connect with others through video conferencing.
But are Zoom, Google Meets, and other forms of conferencing as good as face-to-face meetings and in-person interactions? In short, it depends. It depends on the nature of the relationships and the needs of the moment. All in all, I view Zoom about 75% as good as in-person meetings.
This said, the drawbacks can be significant and were often only apparent when we started to meet with people in-person once again. Sure, you did some wine and cheese Zooming during the pandemic because that’s all you had. But things are different now. You can’t socialize as fully with Zoom. You can’t share a drink or a meal together. You can’t shake hands or exchange a hug. Nor can you delve deeply into quality conversations that allow you to read feelings, show true empathy, or extend personal or professional support.
Thanks to technology, we have Zoom, phone, text, and email at our disposal. All are effective for the kind of communication that is needed. But none of them can match the virtues of an in-person meeting.
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