Hiding behind the New Normal

I discovered a while back that I really do dislike the terminology – “The New Normal” Just typing the words rile me up.

Anyhow so here we are in year 3 and this new is not so new anymore. What has come up for me lately is how I may be using this new normal to shield myself, hide myself, protect myself or just avoid being myself. This all arose a few weeks ago in a Thinking session for me with my Thinking partner. It was so fascinating for me that I decided to put pen to paper.

Anyhow, let’s go into our zoom life. How safe do we not feel using zoom versus being face to face.

For one, I am slightly vain, so when on zoom I get to see myself and can quickly decide to put on anther shirt, do something with my hair or realize that unshaved looked is really not looking that cool on camera as what it does in the mirror!  Quick question: Do you also zoom and look at other people’s background and think WOW – such a cool space, so professional, so ordered. I like the picture and frame on the side wall. For others I just look into the screen and think oh my goodness no – could you at least have just tidied up your bookshelf, closed your cupboard or shut the passage door.

All of a sudden, we were forced to “invite” colleagues and strangers into our personal space via zoom. As a private individual I found this hard. In the old normal I was selective in terms of whom I allowed into my private space and now in the new normal total strangers are now having access to my private space. So, this begs the question, how normal is this new normal which is now the normal?

I have control – I can determine/change update and redecorate a space that you will have access to and in that way, I can project an image or persona of who and what I want you to think I am. Think Instagram here!

I can constantly monitor my expressions, appearance and tone, calibrate my emotions easier – and amend, adjust and change to allow you to see a version of me that I want you to see and hence an image or projection.

I can now create an opportunity for me to lose my authenticity.

You see, for me in a face-to-face meeting I would probable not have an additional screen with extra information/stats/figures readily available for me to rattle off while casting my eye to a backup screen. You would notice little nuances and behaviours about me that make me uniquely me.  I cannot mute myself and laugh out loud. I cannot adjust my shirt, shuffle around in my chair, check my messenger while interacting with you. Be caught off guard staring out the window. Having you enquire after me if I sneeze or cough (bad example).

When I zoom – I show you what I believe you want to see. What I think you want to see. What will make you feel better, more engaged, more understanding – more of what I just may not be.

When I show up face to face – I really show up – all of me…and I like that!

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