Among the many unanticipated outcomes of 2020 is the genericizing of a product brand name into the vernacular (I have been waiting like 20 years to have a reason to use “vernacular” in a sentence).

It’s like what happened when a translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient, commonly derived from collagen derived from the boiled bones, connective tissues of animal parts, becomes cheerfully known as jello.

Thus the act of synchronous online video meetings, achieved through many products and services, is now just an ordinary verb (or noun). Be it fatigue caused by the activity, the facial expression the environments engender, the way dreaded office parties still occur. Aragorn Research nailed it back in May and I’d bet it is in the running for word of the year.

From this tangential reference to boiled cow and pig skin we go to the year of how many billions of hours we spent staring into grids of other people staring at the same style grids. I had an idea to build some rapid montage of such scenes.

More than 270 images were sourced (ignoring the rights of use, this was for commentary, parodying, etc) in scavenging Google image search for “zoom gallery” “zoom meeting” “zoom meeting pets” “zoom meeting funny”. I ended up with maybe 20 that were duplicates used under different file names in online sites. Quite a few were stills from this GIF (and I forget where it came from, I think it was a Zoom Inc promo).

They sure seem happy, and fatigue free.

I had a reason for going down this movie making hole… yes. It was in my mind when working on the planning for the OE Global 2020 conference. It’s there in conversations (taking place on zoom meetings) for future events/activities.

After all the time people are spending in these environments, are there other modalities, what others ways of collaborating we can use besides this one? I find that the first reach colleagues go for is webinar, webinar, webinar. And webinar. And that is my Zoom Fatigue, is that it seems to be the limit of our imagination.

It just leads to this…

Playing with the holders that came with a family board game, it’s sad that just the shapes and black borders lead me to the Z word.

I for one will do all I can to make Zoom the software product not become a generic word for the activities it enables. Otherwise, the fatigue will lead to endless spouting “vernacular! vernacular! vernacular!”

No one wants that. It just leads to harder stuff.

Here is to 2020 just zooming bye.

Image Credit: Just a silly go at the Distracted Boyfriend image with the imgflip meme generator. Shared under a Who The F*** Knows/Cares How to Attribute Memes license.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as

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