By Johnny Lawhon, Staff Reporter
In today’s ever-changing reality, we have succumbed to drastic and unexpected changes. Many of us have careers or sit on committees or boards where it is important to meet ‘usually in person’ to discuss weekly or monthly items of business. But, with the way the world is at the moment, social distancing has become the new norm. Meeting virtually has become pertinent to many boards and organizations. I personally am meeting with people virtually almost every day, and, in turn, my perception of friends, family and colleagues has forever been changed.
Meeting through virtual means can actually tell you more about an individual than meeting them face to face in a public or business venue. While I have been attending my virtual business meetings, I have noticed that it is like looking through a window into someone’s personal life. Seeing someone in their surroundings when they are at home tells you more about them personally. Whether it’s the color they have painted their living room walls or the décor they choose to decorate with, it is a fantastic way to get to know people without having to ask personal questions.
Furthermore, meeting with others by virtual means can actually be more intimate. When someone is talking during a virtual meeting, that person’s face is the center of attention. If they choose not to share a live video of themselves, everyone else that is attending is usually hanging on that person’s every word.
Then there are the new remote and technology-assisted classes that now dominate college curricula. I know for me is was a scary thought to have my in-person class converted into an online format. But I find that I am challenging myself to do my best with the schoolwork, and I have had other students reach out to me privately, which has been an amazing bonding experience.
In the end, we have to choose to accept this new virtual way of communicating or choose to fall into self-isolation. I personally choose to push forward and do my best to adapt. Meeting with others online rather than in person has given me the opportunity to get to know people on a deeper level, and I have also learned a lot more about myself as an individual. I am a very social person in nature, and this new transition was a bit rough for me in the beginning. But now that I have found some acceptance of this new normal.
I choose to keep moving forward, and I look forward to seeing what else I can learn through this new virtual reality that has become my everyday life.