Tech Tools That Rock

So here’s a question? How do you conduct business meetings, group gatherings, roundtables, etc., when it clearly poses a serious health risk to all those attending? We still have ‘social distancing’ guidelines in place, and groups of six or more are prohibited due to stay-at-home orders and the shutdown.

Well, now it’s possible with a video conferencing cloud platform technology known as ZOOM. I needed answers and wanted solutions, and ZOOM offered both!

What an amazing tech resource. Years ago, I stumbled upon a marvelous quote by Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Think about that for a minute. You push a mouse around on your desk and bingo, you have instant, on-line, real-time video imaging of all the business associates, partners, agencies etc., right there in front of you on your computer screen! This is like Face Time on rocket fuel.

And it’s not just businesses that are using it. Families that are separated by geography or the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, are using Zoom to see and also be with their loved ones. Families can see their loved ones arranged in tiles, in a rectangular pattern around the screen just like you see at the opening of the TV sitcom, The Brady Bunch. Cool stuff.

And with schools shut down around the nation, Zoom is providing a viable alternative; Distance Education. A friend of mine’s sister-in-law is now using Zoom with her pre-school children in the Bay Area to continue their class time lessons.

Zoom is not exactly new, it was founded in 2011. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic that has hampered our movements and ability to gather in groups, has resurrected this emerging technology and brought it front-row-center. Here’s the thing with powerful new tech tool; they can be overwhelming. I’ve discussed this with other CEOs that are on back-to-back Zooms and they are exhausted… and unable to answer e-mails, calls, texts, or do other office work … and then it’s hard to catch up. It makes you feel alone and isolated like in a daze.

Last week I was on six back-to-back Zooms and I was done. On one Zoom alone, we pulled together 225 individuals, all from remote locations, to join a tele-conference, and see their faces and/or hear their voices on a video webinar. hey are difficult to manage. You have to make sure everyone has the right audio & video settings, that you don’t hear unwanted noises in the background, etc., and then follow up with everyone. It is tiring. One of my biggest fears was being hacked into, but luckily, that hasn’t happened.

So yes, a wonderful tech tool that rocks, but if we use the rocket fuel analogy from above, and raced around a track at 200 mph, we would be exhausted not to mention in a daze. One thing for sure, I feel now that I must set clear cut boundaries between zoom time, professional time & personal time to keep a balance and my sanity.

Be well, be safe, and may your God be with you. PW