After months and months of being on Zoom, there are less restrictions now with COVID-19. I’m sure that everyone is excited to interact with others again, but something that I’ve noticed is how hard it is to readjust to social situations after being online for so long. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
I recently got together with friends from a club, and it was actually strange. We knew each other but only through our computers. You can’t socialize over Zoom the way that you can in person, so when we had to interact with each other, it felt awkward.
As things slowly go back to normal, everyone will have to deal with these encounters. Bonding over Zoom does not substitute quality time with a person. It’s a challenge trying to talk to others when you’re actually in their company. I found myself struggling to find things to talk about.
Online interaction is just not the same in-class. In particular, I despise Zoom breakout rooms. There’s rarely a time when everyone is actively talking. We just tend to talk about the assignment and then stare into space or look at our phones until we’re sent back to the main room.
As for virtual club meetings, there is still that awkward feeling of trying to get to know people online. Typically, at meetings, there will be groups of people socializing, and you can either bounce back and forth or a group will just naturally form. On Zoom, only one person can talk at a time, and while there is a chat feature, it’s hard to get to know others through this medium.
Looking forward to the fall semester, I can’t wait to walk into a classroom. A lot of people have had trouble learning this semester over Zoom, especially because it’s easy to get distracted. It will take time to adjust to having to learn in the classroom setting again.
We’ll have to relearn how to act around other people. I’m hoping that I can lessen my screen time in these upcoming months and actually spend time around others.