Fast and fab: One-tray sticky soy roasted salmon and veg
Fast and fab: One-tray sticky soy roasted salmon and veg

Meg Walker

Gwyneth Paltrow ‘broke down and ate bread during quarantine’… and Twitter has a LOT to say about it
Gwyneth Paltrow ‘broke down and ate bread during quarantine’… and Twitter has a LOT to...

Sarah Finnan

6 AirBnb cabins around Ireland we’d love to escape to
6 AirBnb cabins around Ireland we’d love to escape to

Megan Burns

Little Dolls of Love: Project looking for 796 dolls to remember the babies lost at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home
Little Dolls of Love: Project looking for 796 dolls to remember the babies lost at...

Sarah Finnan

We need to talk about Lily James’ incredible transformation into Pamela Anderson
We need to talk about Lily James’ incredible transformation into Pamela Anderson

Jennifer McShane

Lockdown lifting: We are getting out, so why aren’t we happier?
Lockdown lifting: We are getting out, so why aren’t we happier?

Louise Slyth

‘Covid restrictions prevented us from sharing the birth of our first child’
‘Covid restrictions prevented us from sharing the birth of our first child’

Justine King

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

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES, RELATIONSHIPS
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

blank
EDITORIAL
What to eat this weekend: Fish n’ courgette chips with homemade tartar sauce

This healthy fish and courgette chips recipe from Jane Kennedy...

By Meg Walker

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost,...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
EDITORIAL
Vaccine envy: ‘Why a year of Covid has brought out the begrudgers’

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
HEALTH & WELLNESS
The trickle of information from the Government on restrictions has made a grim situation so much worse

By Amanda Cassidy

shells cafe
EDITORIAL
A Sligo cottage is transformed into a cool and cosy surfers’ haven

Still one of our favourite homes ever, the easy-breezy interiors...

By IMAGE Interiors & Living