Zoom.* We think of language at this huge behemoth that changes at glacial speed, but it occurs to me today how quickly lexicon can change. A year ago, less for most, “zoom” meant to go fast or to focus in. Today, “Zoom” means to hold a videoconference. And as I have had more and more Zoom experiences in the past month the same question rises in my mind that occurs each time I witness (and in some cases, experience) the rise (and sometimes fall – remember MySpace?) of every such software program that comes along (think Facebook, Instagram Pinterest…) – these are indeed methods of communication, but are they ways we will, in a true sense, connect?
The answer, of course, is that “it depends.” It depends on the nature of the communication and whether it rises to the level that allows people to connect in something more than an electronic sense, more than a superficial, “drive by” sense. Two tin cans and a string provide a method of communication and can provide a connection between two (but only two, I guess) people. Zoom can facilitate communication among many more. I suppose the question of whether it facilitates connections between and among people is up to us.
* Note that on my first Zoom experience I was so impressed by the Zoom technology and its ability to facilitate business communication that I bought a membership and bought stock in the company. This post should not be interpreted to promote my financial self-interest — no way!