The cognitive dissonance of digital communication.

Feb 14, 2022

Two things I read this weekend.

  1. What We Lost: about Zoom versus reality. I’m on the fence, I do like seeing people, but very rarely. Certainly not enough to consider going to an office every day again, but still…

No, I have no idea that everyone hates the idea you just proposed because my ability to read the room has been mostly erased. I can’t tell the difference between “We hate this idea” silence and “We mostly just quiet because it’s a chore to speak during a video conference” silence.

And in reading that I think, wow, Zoom hasn’t improved in voice quality at all during this pandemic. Background blur still makes you look like a spirit passing through a room from another plane of existence. And it’s not just Zoom, I Facetime with my parents and in the middle of saying something important hear, “oh the video just went away” on the other-side.

This is fine

  1. Gurman: FaceTime for Apple AR/VR Headset Could Rely on Memojis and SharePlay. The flip side of this is it appears (or in the case of Meta, it is known) that tech companies think the problem with remote communication is that we haven’t gone far enough. Maybe they’re right. Voice chat while playing a video game is usually better than Zoom. My Zoom avatar, when I don’t have my camera on, is a T-Rexicorn, why not just animate it and make it 3D and map it to my face.

With so many companies sticking to all-remote for now and in the future, maybe it’s the right move. Get rid of offices, get rid of conferences, get a fancy reclining pod chair in your house and drop in to any “room” in the world. Sure, you’ll have the head of a cat and you’ll only exist from the waist up, but that’s close enough, right?

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