F2F vs Screen .. what works? (during Covid)

We have been living through the challenging time of Covid 19 since onset of yer 2020, and not just a few of us but somewhat entire world is impacted by this. We are under lock-down; lock-down either self imposed or by the local or national authorities. This has coerced us to cut off from the society even more, in the modern era where we already live a nuclear life. Our face to face (F2F) interactions has taken the blow, superseded by digital screens.

To be honest, I miss the warmth and liveliness of F2F. I believe it makes the communication more personal, engaging and efficient. Nonetheless, given the Covid lock-down situation, I am forced to adopt a wall in between the faces. A wall powered by electrons, that absorb and translate our emotion to electric signals and transmit it hundreds of thousands of miles away. This is amazing, at once we are getting enough opportunities to reach out to larger communities who are in similar situation like us, full of empathy and more accepting than ever before.

Another instance in favor of screen is its usage for business meetings and decision making. We all know how much carbon footprint airlines leave ferrying hundreds of thousands of executives across the globe just to attend conferences and meetings which could be effectively run though internet. As an imposed need, organizations have started to realize the real power of virtual conferences and how it bolsters savings, that organizations can make by cutting off non critical business travels. In fact the scale of criticality itself is being questioned, debated and redefined.

On the other hand, friends and contacts in the city that we live suddenly started to appear a bit more distant. We are not used to much electronic chat between us here, other than calling them at times to invite for house parties or a family get together. We have seen, growing up in India, that our conversations have mostly been face to face, at times through post-cards (before internet got democratized in late 2000). In addition, we could drop down to our friends & relatives anytime we feel we need their support and F2F does the magic.

The screen, undeniably has more advantages than disadvantages. Market leaders of technology has either launched or refined their web-conferencing products like Zoom video conferencing, Cisco webex, Google meet and so on. All these products have free plan for non business customers like us. Albiet, I will still miss my F2F meetings but not at the cost of my health and of the others.

Stay safe world !

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