‘Sleeptember’ and how to create an adult bedtime routine that actually works
‘Sleeptember’ and how to create an adult bedtime routine that actually works

Sarah Finnan

Actor Richard E Grant reveals late wife Joan had lung cancer
Actor Richard E Grant reveals late wife Joan had lung cancer

Jennifer McShane

Kitchen accessories under €30 to get you excited to cook again
Kitchen accessories under €30 to get you excited to cook again

Megan Burns

Lily Collins shares photos of her divine wedding gown
Lily Collins shares photos of her divine wedding gown

Jennifer McShane

‘Guilt and relief’: Inspired by Project Meghan, working mums have this advice for those returning to work after babies
‘Guilt and relief’: Inspired by Project Meghan, working mums have this advice for those returning...

Amanda Cassidy

‘I told my husband ‘they’ve found something suspicious in my brain, we’re going to have our baby tomorrow night”
‘I told my husband ‘they’ve found something suspicious in my brain, we’re going to have...

Amanda Cassidy

6 of the biggest royal scandals skipped in The Crown season 4
6 of the biggest royal scandals skipped in The Crown season 4

Jennifer McShane

PODCAST: Work Rest & Slay with Melanie Morris: Episode 2
PODCAST: Work Rest & Slay with Melanie Morris: Episode 2

Shayna Sappington

Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the end it was too much’
Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the...

Amanda Cassidy

This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city living
This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city...

Megan Burns

Image / Editorial

Thought your Zoom fatigue was bad? Stylist Cathy O Connor fears she’s becoming a ‘Zoombie’


by IMAGE
12th Jun 2020
blank

Cathy O Connor’s Zoom fatigue has taken a turn for the worse.


“Zoom, zoom!” the child cried with a squeal of delight. Her foot on the accelerator, her tiny hands clasping the steering wheel and looking ahead with a fixed stare. A stare of determination, of focus, but with a slight edge of mania.

How could I have possibly known that many, many years later I would be crying “Zoom, zoom!” once again? Only this time, it is not with a squeal of delight but more with a murmur  of quiet desperation.

“Zoom, zoom”, I cry, “not another blooming Zoom meeting!”

However, one aspect remains the same. I still have that slight edge of mania as I fear I’m becoming a ‘Zoombie’.

Three months ago I had never even heard of Zoom; had never known of its brilliant technology that would bring us all together and had never known of the type of fatigue that comes with it.

Initially, I was so delighted to see the faces of my cherished tribe and so grateful to see them animated in all their glory. It was a huge step towards meaningful connection.

Who needs real life when you have Zoom? Yet within no time at all that enthusiasm waned to be replaced with dread —  the dread of another Zoom call.

As Zoom immediately became the communication of choice for my business world, my never-before-seen home world was now on show. I’ve had to impress on so many levels before and just at a time when I had run out of gusto, my home interior now had to impress too.

Where was the best location for light? What was visible in the background? Where had I discarded my unopened copy of Ulysses? Why hadn’t I looked after my neglected orchid now that I needed a showpiece? Why hadn’t I bought that Alessi trinket?

The background now became another layer of self-expression. I ran around my house, laptop in hand, seeking out the best place for lighting. Even though I was feeling blah, I couldn’t let myself down by having a less than sparkling interior.

Eventually, the location was sourced. Awkward for me to sit there but at least the lighting was reasonable and I welcomed the damage limitation when it came to hiding the chaotic nature of  my home.

At a time when I consistently looked at my worst, there I was, endlessly on screen, looking back at myself

But the effort didn’t stop there. I was merely at the first step of this endless performance. I also had to present myself. While it felt like my world was collapsing round me, no signs of that strain could be visible on Zoom.

I painted my tired face but there was no amount of concealer that perked me up. At a time when I consistently looked at my worst, there I was, endlessly on screen, looking back at myself.

Try as I might to focus on anyone else, my attention returned to my own reflection, starting an internal dialogue that all too often drowned out the voice of the meeting. There was nowhere to hide, literally. I was all boxed in, in every sense of the word.

There seemed to be an intensity about these calls; staring at a screen, afraid to move or scratch my nose, irritated by those who hadn’t yet discovered the mute button and so every sound of their domestic life interrupted the flow. No reprieve. Switched on all the time.

And that sense of being ‘switched on’ too much has reintroduced me to the value of switching off. My time off-screen has become more precious.

Zoom has been the tipping point and so, I’ve taken a step back. I’m now happy not to check my phone like a teenager. I am relishing staring into space. No edge of mania in my eyes but more of the delicious, easy pleasure of stillness.

Read more: Are you fed up of looking fed up? Stylist Cathy O’Connor has had enough

Read more: Eoin Higgins asks ‘Am I the only one finding video calls mortifying?’

Read more: Hide the mess with Zoom background images from Image Interiors & Living

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Why do we keep snatching normality away from our children?’

This summer the government will allow my children into a bar, but not to their gymnastics camp. Amanda Cassidy on...

By Amanda Cassidy

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

blank
premium EDITORIAL
EVENT: How To Master the Art of Negotiation

We sit down with Negotiation Strategist Natalie Reynolds, discussing key tactics and strategies used to master the art of negotiation...

By Shayna Sappington

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Totally allowed but totally shouldn’t: Welcome to the Great Irish Pandemic Paradox’

In a time when cool heads are needed – it’s more than the current heatwave that’s melting minds, writes Amanda...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
premium EDITORIAL
Join The Club to Avail of Your Complimentary Tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

Nóra Quoirin
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Inquest ruling changed to open verdict in Nóra Quoirin’s death

A Malaysian judge has overturned an inquest verdict of misadventure in the death of 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin, changing it to...

By Jennifer McShane