Weddings. Funerals. Baby showers. Meetings. Everything became virtual overnight. The rules of etiquette transmuted to the small screen. There were no excuses to skip events. No other means to maintain intimacy in a world ordered to stay at home. Mask mandates and reopening phases stood between the life we had and the life we led. For introverts it was heaven and hell – a respite from social interaction, from shootings and racial injustice – until it wasn’t. People marched on the streets for conflicting paradigms. Virtually everything could be done online; you’d live by the Zoom and die by the Zoom!
It didn’t dawn on us that everything would become virtual. That cameras and video conferencing would be the only thing that kept us sane. As my husband watched his grandfather’s funeral, I realized windows into everyday life had been opened, giving reclusives an excuse to stay hidden, tucked away from society while still participating from sights unseen. Would those windows close eventually? Who will decide which ones become ubiquitous and which ones need to disappear from whence they came?
Although this technology boom has allowed me to take a break from the office and consider all my options, I can’t say I’m happy that the entire planet can summon you at the push of a button. That no longer can you use bad connectivity as an excuse to politely run away from uncomfortable situations. That we are laid bare in more intrusive ways than before. It’s no longer okay to just be heard, you must also be seen. It’s the only way anyone will listen.
Disagree and commit.
I wonder what our grandkids will make of the situation. If they will too find the cameras in their lives intrusive or if they’ll embrace them with open arms. As Orwellian becomes an adjective used by conservatives and Republicans to denounce the future, it’s hard to imagine in which direction technology will sway the masses. At some point privacy will be taken for granted or traded as a commodity. It will be hard to hide. To disappear. To find solace from the pain and suffering of a world that is connected in more ways than one.
Can’t wait to see what gives…