I, like many others, have been on a host of video conference calls lately and it has been interesting to see the backgrounds people use for their calls. The popular Zoom software allows people to replace their actual surroundings with various settings: the beach, the Golden Gate bridge, magazine covers, the outdoors, etc. And whether it’s to cover up their overdue-haircut hair, very casual attire or improvised home “office”, more and more people are opting to call utilizing virtual environments instead of real ones.
It’s a lost opportunity.
Visiting someone else’s office gives you an instantaneous glimpse into their personality and often provides a moment of connection. Seeing another’s “space” – whether their office or home – allows you to see more of their humanity, even if it involves a bit of chaos in the background.
Video conferencing is being utilized en masse to help people stay connected to each other when they are unable to be physically together. Don’t blur out a piece of yourself and replace it with something generic. Seeing you in your real environment is the window to that connection.