In a time that we are asked to socially distance, how can you make sure your business keeps thriving and, more importantly, how you personally will stand strong?

The C-word, I’m not going to say it. We all are experiencing some changed in our daily life because of it.

In this interview I’ll talk with Dr. Wendy Patrick about social interaction during a time that it’s hard.

You’ll learn:

2:13 – what it does to us as human human beings to physical distance ourselves from others
8:28 – do we need to pivot offline businesses? Is it time to let go of offline?
11:42 – what is the most important thing to focus on business-wise right now
18:44 – is it possible to grow or deepen relationships (personally and professionally) during this pandemic?
30:00 – what is going to be the new normal?
35:27 – why video calling is your lifesaver (also if you’re an introvert)

Enjoy this episode!

TRANSCRIPT

Jane:
Welcome at the first episode of The born to fly podcast. today. I will be talking with Dr. Wendy Patrick, and she is a career trial attorney and behavioral expert. So welcome on the show, Wendy.

Wendy:
Thank you, Jane.

Jane:
I think you can do a way better job in introducing yourself. So why don’t you just tell our guests who you are?

Wendy:
Well, thank you very much. So I as Jane mentioned in the career trial attorney, I’ve been a prosecutor for 23 years, used to be a defense attorney earlier on, I went back to get a PhD mid career because I’m absolutely fascinated with human behavior and why people do the things they do. I’ve always wondered that in all the types of cases I’ve handled in criminal law. So while my PhD was in theology, it actually centered on the psychology of attraction. What do what draws people together? What pushes them apart? What do we like about each other? What do we love about each other? So it’s in that capacity, I’ve done an enormous amount of research and writing and speaking on many of the topics that are relevant to what we’re experiencing now in terms of the pandemic and having to stay away from each other.

Jane:
Mm hmm. I think that’s like one of the things that sounds very interesting because from your perspective and with your knowledge, I think you can definitely tell us a little bit more about what it does to us as human human beings to socially distance ourselves from others or physical distance ourselves from others.

Wendy:
Ah, so Jane, I’m glad that you made that distinction. That is an enormous distinction that I don’t think is getting enough recognition is we’re not asking anybody to socially distance. Can you imagine that would be like cutting yourself off from the world no more Facebook, no more phone, no text, no email. No one has ever suggested that’s going to stop the spread of the coronavirus, get hashtag social distancing has really become the trend. That’s what we’re talking about. as you point out, Jane, it’s physical distancing. And we can do that. But here’s the interesting thing that research shows we don’t want to even when we appreciate the risk, there have been studies that have been done. Looking back at the way some people behaved in pandemics past, we don’t have to go all the way back to 1918. Spanish flu, we can just go back to h1 n one. You remember that that was about a little over a decade ago. And during that epidemic pandemic, whichever you want to call it, we didn’t have a physical slash social distancing mandate. But even then in other countries, they did. I say we I’m talking about in the US, but I know many places in Canada, you did. And there were there were they did some studies based on that to try to figure out what how did you feel about that? If you were among those that had to quarantine? How long were you in? What did you miss out on? How did you deal with the fact that you didn’t have an opportunity to see the people that matter to you most. So it’s fascinating to look at how we actually know that human behavior even though we know we’re supposed to stay away during times like this because there’s a risk of contagion. We still don’t want to do it. Not withstanding that risk.

Jane:
Why is that? Like, why do we want to do it?

Wendy:
It’s because of the power of human contact. It’s because of the bonding power of interpersonal contact. And I don’t just mean within family members or close friends, it’s been shown to even apply to some extent to strangers. So whether you’re passing colleagues in the hallway, or other patrons on the subway, there is a desire to connect obviously not with dangerous people, but with other people. You know, I could, I could take up the whole rest of your show with examples, but I’ll just I’ll just choose a couple. going out to dinner is one of them. When you think about the fun, the experience of going out to dinner, you don’t just think about the food. You think about the ambiance you think about your favorite waiter. You think about the other patrons and the din of lively conversation and what that adds. The shopping mall is another one. Now I do a lot of these. I do a lot of Public Speaking in this area, so I go and I take a lot of photos if I’m putting a PowerPoint together and I visited one of our local malls here where I live shortly before the lockdown order, and it was totally deserted it looked like and I’m gonna date myself here, if any of you remember that movie night of the comment, where all of a sudden there was nobody on on the earth. And those of you that are, let’s say, over 50 might remember the first installment of The Twilight Zone on October the second 1959. The topic of that show, The title was where is everybody had to do with a man that all of a sudden finds himself in a town where there’s nobody there? If you were going to go out on a weekend, go to the mall, go to a sporting event, and it was just you? Would that still be fun? It could be filled with strangers and it would be it would be fulfilling. It’s the presence of others. we’re wired to live in community, not on our own even if you and your best friend or your spouse or you know, you’re new your family if you went there was still nobody there. It wouldn’t be fulfilling. That is why we want people out. We want to be back in community. We are wired and designed to live in the presence of others not in the virtual presence. That’ll I guess it’s okay for the short term, but in the physical presence, that’s what I wanted to ask because I was like, well, we can still, you know, be in each other’s presence, but it’s online is doesn’t make a difference. But yes, it does. We really have to meet each other in real life. It does. But I do have to say that zoom has been a blessing. People have net a huge circle of friends, you and I met each other on zoom. And yeah, we all enlarged our circles of acquaintances by doing more virtually than we ever would have before. Many people never even knew what zoom was, unless they had an opportunity to start trying it for work. Once they became familiar with it. They started going to meet up groups, they were learning languages they were working out they were learning to play instruments. And what’s interesting to me as a behavioral analyst is I would like to know whether that behavior is going to continue. Because let’s face it, zoom is just too easy to use. I know there was zoom bombing, and that’s still it’s not as private as we would like it to be. So I suppose we’re not going to be signing important documents on zoom. But in terms of exercise, classes, travel, channel’s wine tastings, all the different worlds that opens up virtually many people still aren’t going to be venturing out even after the country in the world, I should say it’s not just any particular country is completely open because they care for somebody that’s elderly, that’s immune compromised. They want to play it safe. They have depressed lung function. So for them, zoom has opened up in an entirely new virtual world, and it’s probably here to stay.

Jane:
Mm hmm. Yeah, I I’m definitely sure about that. I see a lot of businesses that were pivoting because of the you know, going online because of zoom because of you know, all these different opportunities right now that they saw that instead of doing things offline, they can actually go online. You already mentioned the wine tasting. That’s one of the examples that I’ve heard before as well.

Wendy:
No one wants to drink alone, Jane.

Jane:
But in terms of like talking about pivoting a business, I think a lot of people that have a business or they’re starting out, and they were more focused on the offline market, they kind of feel a pressure of pivoting their business online. What What is your perspective on that? Do you think they need to feel that pressure? Do you think no, it’s not necessary because, you know, the world is gonna look different, but there’s still enough market place for you as an offline business. What what are your thoughts on that?

Wendy:
They need to think through an online business and not just the same online business necessarily that they were used to conducting offline. It’s all a matter of supply and demand, people want different things nowadays? If you’re looking at stocks and how well they’re doing, all you need to do is compare Amazon with target and Walmart because of the delivery service options they provided early on, they were ready to go once the pandemic hits and they have continued to provide viable alternatives. Now we all know that there are many people that have started innovative businesses online, nice making clothes with drawstrings if you’re teleworking you don’t have to wear your suit pants anymore. The market has expanded in terms of what people are looking for during this time period. So businesses that are pivoting that are going online have to take that into consideration, and they can learn from each other. That is the beauty of being in business nowadays, because so many other businesses are virtual. Everyone can learn what our customer is looking for, and then how can they fill a niche. The good news for businesses is because there is so much online demand there was room for more competition. I mean, competition is always healthy to begin with. But there’s room for even more players in that game. Because everybody is going online. Many of the offline businesses they’ve been allowed to open, but it’s at a percentage of their capacity. And they’ll be the first to admit they can’t survive in that, in that it’s not sustainable in that format. We have seen some brand name businesses around the world announced that they’re going under this as we never would have expected that would ever go bankrupt. And conversely, we’ve seen a comeback of some types of businesses that we never thought we’re ever going to reemerge like drive in movie theaters who ever thought you’re too young Jane, but I know them. When I was growing up, we used to go to the drive in movie theater and park your car and you go to get your concessions and you see if the volume works on that little things outside your window. Nowadays there are and of course those went out of style and it was just that big white stuff. Sometimes data swap meet around it and then a parking lot overgrown with weeds. Now, at least during the last couple of months, while so many different jurisdictions were on lockdown, there were lines of cars, getting trying to get into a drive in movie theater while Amazon stock was falling. Go figure. Yeah, I love that. Yeah, it’s, that’s the world, right? It will always surprise you. That’s for sure. And that’s what makes it We live in an exciting day and age with all of the virtual technologies and opportunities and possibilities nowadays. It’s an exciting time to be in business.

Jane:
Definitely, because you don’t know exactly what is going to happen. And then there’s like these many opportunities that you can jump on. So if you are in business, what would you say is the most important thing right now to focus on because we talk about pivoting, we talk about, you know, the new opportunities that are out there, but there’s also the part of like, connecting with people, and that becomes more difficult since we can’t connect in real life.

Wendy:
So true. And what I’ve noticed because I pay attention to such trends is many businesses are trying to connect online by themselves engaging in so many the different markets that are online. For example, if you have a business teaching French, you will join every French group that exists, and then relay your information to those that are interested in the business like that. If you make masks, you’ll do the same thing. So it’s a it’s virtual networking, in the same fashion that we used to go to Chamber of Commerce meetings and networking mixers, except it’s easier. And if you have a marketing team, you can fan out and you can hit more virtual meetings at once. And you’ll be connecting with like minded people in business that are doing the same thing that you are. So it’s a different type of networking, because we’re not going to be able to do traditional networking, at least not at full capacity for some time. So the best thing that small businesses can do not even small businesses, is have those brainstorming meetings now. There is nothing better than a group of smart minds in a room to go through all the different scenarios and marketing plans talking about pros and cons. And then everyone does something different. Maybe somebody is really good in a virtual group. They’re tech savvy, they’re good with zoom. They love online platforms. Maybe somebody isn’t. So they’re delegated the research tasks, the behind the scenes job of coming up with different kinds of meetings and things that the tech savvy networkers can do. There’s always different, like we say, in the Christian faith, everybody is gifted differently. The body is comprised of lots of parts, a business is as well and they all should do what they’re good at doing, and then come together and function as a business of the new I can’t even say new millennial anymore. A business of 2020 This is a new way of doing business virtually.

Jane:
Yeah, for sure. And well, and what about people who are just the solopreneurs it’s just them, you know, like, I think there’s a lot on their plate. What What would you recommend would be main focus for them. What should they do in this pandemic now?

Wendy:
What they need to do is decide what they want to look like online. And that has to do if they’re so low, then they probably are in a good position to pivot. It’s tough to pivot if you’re souplantation, which, sadly, is the name of a huge restaurant beloved chain that went under due to due to COVID. It was a salad bar format, and it wasn’t sustainable online, we can think of many other types of businesses that aren’t sustainable than an online format. But if you’re so low, you can think about how to rebrand yourself to where you can market online. Maybe you can’t. Maybe you decide to open a new business. But that’s been the question that many offline businesses have been asking themselves is, is this sustainable online? I hear good news and bad news. The good news is you don’t have 30 employees to pay if it’s just you and you have the luxury of taking the time to figure out how do I make this move to a virtual platform. The bad news is, it’s just you. And you don’t have any employees to help with the legwork of mobilizing online now, you do have employees, they’re called friends, fans, followers and family members. And this is a time that everybody rallies around small businesses. And I’ll tell you, I’m a, I’m on Twitter a lot. And I just see success after success story of people that do exactly that to prop up small businesses and help them be successful. I don’t mean necessarily everybody opens a GoFundMe page. But there are just lots of people that want to support small businesses, even things like next door network, all the different local virtual platforms that exist to help and support the small businesses. So good and bad news. But the what the one thing everybody has to do if they’re in a small business, or if they’re Solo is act now and work very hard in this interim period. And whether it’s rebranding, reformatting, or simply a business market, pivot, this is the time to really have your nose to the grindstone because it will get better. This is the time to figure out what you’re going to look like on the other side.

Jane:
Mm hmm. That’s a great answer. I think that will be very helpful for for solopreneurs. And also the other things that you’re told for people who have businesses because you’re right, if you have a team, I’ve seen many examples of like big businesses that had to pivot because there were, for example, very big in the event industry where there were no events anymore, so they had to do something. Instead of like being a service driven business they turned into like a product driven business.

Wendy:
Anybody that used to interface with the public bank tellers, baristas, and we can go on and on those types of businesses, it’s just challenging to exist online. Now maybe they all have, they all they break out a drive thru window in the business, they can do it that way. But we can think of other examples, as well, however, those people thought about this, and that never late March, when everything started to close all over the world globally, we were all within a certain amount of weeks of each other. And you know what that allowed us to do? learn from each other. And people that weren’t tech savvy before, are tech savvy. Now what did they do? They looked at how people with businesses similar to theirs in other countries or rebranding, it’s a beautiful thing. The internet is a beautiful thing. And I know people worried that it was going to crash it was going to go slower. Most of us have recognized that it hasn’t. And if you think it has get up in the middle of the night and work, it’s faster. That’s what I always do, just to make sure, but those kinds of things, the fact that the whole world was affected, allowed the pandemic, the post pandemic business, picketers will call them to already see what was working because people are very much alike. When it comes to what are we paid we all have to eat, we sleep we we shop, we do the same thing. We wear the same types of clothes, we enjoy the same types of foods with a lot of different cultural varieties. But we’re a global community in many senses to where we can look and see what’s working, and then model the best practices.

Jane:
Yeah, I think that’s always a good thing to do to just look around you and see what other people are doing. And not necessarily like copying anything, but getting inspired by what other people are doing. And then yeah, put it in your own business and then create your own or put your own sauce on top of it. And then do you you know, do your own thing. Yeah. So I just want to go back to like, the relationship side of this physical distancing, not social distancing. Because you touched a little bit on like networking and networking online is happening a lot and maybe you can network even more. I was wondering if it is possible to grow or deepen relationships during this pandemic? Because we’re not actually meeting face to face or maybe if you have a backyard or whatever you can meet on the right distance. But I was just wondering how does it work for people? Do we feel more connected, less connected? Can we connect at the same level? Many people are wondering if you could connect at the same level or if you connect at a deeper level.

Wendy:
So I shared with you that I have been a prosecutor for 23 years. Please, nobody do the math on that. Because I also told you I was a defense attorney before then let’s just say I have lots of experience looking at the way that both good people and bad people operate online. Studies have shown anecdotally this has proven to be true that some people are more comfortable revealing more of themselves in a virtual setting for a variety of reasons, and you can understand many of those reasons. So the short answer is it is possible to forge a deep connection virtually, but then you want to follow that up physically. There are very few virtual relationships that are perfectly happy never meeting most humans. That’s why online dating is a global phenomena, you don’t online date to continue to online date, it’s with an eye towards meeting in person. So there is that aspect of it regardless of the kind of relationship that you’re forming. But here’s the other side of that. It’s also true that many people feel that they really can’t forge the type of relationships to begin with online because without meeting in person and testing chemistry and charisma, there’s a level of trust that takes a longer time to develop than it does in person. Jane, you’re an exception to the rule. You are just you know, the wholesome and kind and sweet and compassionate and that that comes through very much online. But there are many people that are reserved because they’re uncomfortable being on video camera, they’re awkward. What’s the result of that? If you’re introverted, in some sense, you aren’t able to bond as quickly and as easily as somebody that is more open and transparent and extroverted and tech savvy. Let’s just face it. Some people have been zooming three years, those kinds of people are very familiar with the technology, the platforms, whatever brand they use, whether it’s WebEx or Microsoft Teams, or zoom, there’s so many out there, that it’s much, it’s much easier for them to then transition into doing social activities online. But for those that aren’t used to it or not familiar with the technology, it’s harder for them. And they may feel more awkward, more isolated. These are the people that join zoom rooms with their video, often, everybody is saying reveal yourself. And they’re awkward. They don’t know they’re not dressed for the backgrounds. They haven’t, they haven’t watched all those Skype video session techniques to where it tells you where to sit what the lady would have in the background. So it depends, and for those that aren’t yet familiar with it, this pandemic has at least provided an opportunity to become more familiar, because again, my prediction is that even when everybody is allowed to go everywhere, again, there still will be that segment that will wait a bit. Maybe they’ll wait for a vaccine, and in the meantime, they do want to be able to form those virtual connections and at least have them approximate the value and the warmth of interpersonal connection in person. Which, as you point out, you just can’t find a substitute for that.

Jane:
Mm hmm. Yeah. I’m afraid of the people that you were mentioning the more introverted people. What advice would you give in order for them to be more comfortable with zoom or to connect better online? Since it’s not so natural for them to do?

Wendy:
Well, the first thing they need to do is I mean, practice makes perfect but not practice with strangers. The best way to practice becoming comfortable is to do a practice zoom call, for example, with a trusted family member. Now what does that do it the other family member who loves loves you will say you got to clean up that room in the background or let me show you how to use virtual backgrounds if you don’t, there’s tutorials all over YouTube. Once you’re comfortable with your appearance. And with your background, you’re ready to become comfortable with talking in a group what really characterizes zoom? What distinguishes it from in person meetings, everybody’s talking at the same time, it’s sometimes it becomes a free for all. That’s why hosts are always muting everybody’s mics and then people are unmuting them, they’re coming in late, we have to have Zoo manners. And if anybody’s interested, I’ve written my own Psychology Today column. And I have authored in the last few months more pieces than you could read on how to behave yourself in a Zoom Room, and then the interpersonal dynamics that apply there. So it’s a matter of becoming familiar in smaller groups becoming more comfortable with the with the technology and smaller groups. The same way that a person who is socially shy would build up confidence in person. it by doing but not by entering a room with 100 other people and then somehow you’re all going to talk. None of us would feel comfortable doing that. And they people that are introverted or shy can take comfort from knowing that the most extroverted among us have felt very awkward in zoom rooms because not only are there a lot of strangers in there, but think about it, you’re not sitting comfortably in a chair. You know doing your thing looking at your phone now and then you are sitting stiffed back in an uncomfortable chair often for hours on end. Your back is aching your shoulders eight you’re forced to continue to look not at the screen, but at that little camera, your computer. If you’re uncomfortable, take comfort in the fact that Guess what, so are the rest of us?

Jane:
Yeah, well, that’s a good one.

Wendy:
So definitely if we’re not comfortable, one of the things you should do is put on your camera. Like you know, don’t put it on it’s a no go should definitely like reveal who you are right that will unless you’re in a meeting where you’re not expected to have a camera and let me give you some examples of interpersonal happy hours where the The purpose is to meet and greet. Everybody wants to see what everybody else looks like. If you are joining as I often do a travel lecture. I love to travel. It’s the one guilty pleasure I had, I would go everywhere if I could, if I could afford it, I should say, but I go to a lot of travel meetings, which is just like zoom, and everybody can be seen if they want to. But if you look at the participants, 90% of them do not have a video camera running. Now, what’s the value of that for somebody that’s maybe a little introverted, it gives them an opportunity to interact in the chat box. So they can still ask questions, they can still meet other participants. But if they feel socially awkward on camera, they don’t have to be on camera. And it’s almost expected that you won’t be you can unmute, try it out afterwards, where there’s a q&a just to kind of get familiar with it, and then mute again, because that’s perfectly acceptable in the more education based zoom meetings, the virtual happy hours, not so much. They want to they want to hear you and they want to see you. Yeah, they wouldn’t eat you. That’s why they’re in there too. That’s why they’re more social as well.

Jane:
So it really depends on on the context and situation of you know, the purpose of this call I would say, yeah. Okay. Um, so one of the things I wanted to ask you as well, it’s a little bit more to the business side again, is people like business people have client relationships. And normally you would meet them face to face or when you would like, you have a prospect that you wanted to meet normally it’s not possible, like, what would you say they can do to foster or nurture client relationships right now? Is there something specific that they can do? Do they hop on a zoom call and connect with them? Or what would you do?

Wendy:
Yeah, the The wonderful thing about client relationships is that they’re already clients. So let this be a lesson to people that have never actually met in person with a client. I can tell you that that first and only because I’ve been doing it for years that that first in person meeting when you’re able to do this again, will save you countless of phone calls, text messages, emails, and because it’s that bonding at the beginning, that sets the tenor and the tone for the relationship. So if you already have clients that you’ve met with in person, you’re ahead of the game, you can sustain that charisma, that chemistry on zoom. Now, if you are talking about clients that you’ve never met, I understand it, I get it, everybody’s busy, it will probably be more Vani experience than your initial communication was to actually get to know each other on zoom. So that’s the silver lining to zoom, because you probably didn’t have your communication on zoom before. This is a new phenomena in terms of everybody’s using it. So my advice is always in person is much better. Even if it’s just a short conversation. Even if it’s FaceTime, you don’t always have to be on zoom platforms. Maybe you don’t always have access to this kind of software, do FaceTime, do something that personalizes contact in an otherwise very impersonal couple of months. I’m being optimistic here until we can find a vaccine but it is that consistent contact. That is important. Remember, transparency breeds trust. So as much as you can show of yourself to your clients, making sure that you are bringing your A game to the camera during that meeting, the more successful that client relationship is going to be. And you know what that means more money in your pocket in terms of having even more clients that trust you, and your reputation will get better as well.

Jane:
Mm hmm. So I guess when I hear talk that the real key thing to do is basically make things more personal. Use the camera, do whatever you can do to make it as normal as possible or like as real as possible, like it would be in real life.

Wendy:
Yes, that’s true. And also make sure that you are very mindful of the client’s time constraints. Many times we get on a zoom call and it’s like open ended, it never ends. Now, even family doing calls end up being that way. Nobody want to get on a call with you again. So make sure that in advance you’ve spoken about the duration, and the agenda, and then maximize that screen time together, make sure you look your best, your background looks your best. You’ve told everybody else in the house that you’re busy, you’ve muted all your devices, those types of small courtesies can go an enormous a long way to really forging that great relationship with your clients, even if you’ve never seen them before. And I know a lot of people that are listening probably thought, Gosh, I don’t even know how my clients well guess what this is your opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level, and maybe transform superficial relationships into serious relationships. I suppose that advice can be used both professionally and personally.

Jane:
Oh, yeah, definitely. That’s great. Thanks, Wendy, for sharing that. I just love how much you know about like how we human beings want to communicate with each other and what really works and whatnot. So that’s very much appreciated. That’s wonderful. Yeah, so we’re getting a little bit closer to the end of our conversation. There’s a couple of things I wanted to ask you still is, one of the things is what do you think will be the new normal for us? What is the new normal, according to you?

Wendy:
The new normal is going to be business as usual to the extent that it’s permitted, but with a heightened sensitivity and awareness of the contagious nature of many diseases. We’ve heard time and again, that Corona viruses and I’m gonna say that in the plural because they’ve been around for years, we know that they mutate. We know that they’re unpredictable. And we know that we probably need to take more precautions than we did in the past. Now, how do we know that because we saw those graphs of how quickly people became infected in certain areas. We misjudged the level of contagion that was possible in small groups, and even in larger groups, and even now you hear scientists debate over how far droplets can travel or how long a virus stays in the year so the new normal will include a new respect for precautions and I don’t even mean precautions that we take. I also mean a respect for others that choose to take a level of precaution that’s higher than you decide to take. That is very important. We have seen sadly, videos gone viral of patrons in supermarkets and, and big box stores and other places where they are infuriated that some people even though they know they’re supposed to be married, wearing a mask, it’s hanging around their neck, or they’ve got a bandana and it’s pulled down. That doesn’t count as wearing a mask. And if you are somebody that perhaps lives with somebody that’s immune compromised, or you have decreased lung function, you’re going to be livid when people don’t show the kind of respect that you would expect, given what we now know about contagion and about the spread of disease, especially among those that have no symptoms. The asymptomatic have been blamed for widespread of this Coronavirus because they had no idea they were sick. We know better now. But the new normal will also have a newfound respect for the fact that that’s possible, and a new set of precautions to make sure that we account for that.

Jane:
That sounds actually pretty good. We will be more respectful to each other. And we will know that even though you don’t have symptoms, you you can still be sick and you can still, you know, be contagious to other people. And I think besides that, do you also think that we will continue thinking is it is more normal to meet online? Do you think we kind of experienced as human being now that, you know, we can still have a good relationship, even though we can only meet online will or will we go back to their normal social things that we were doing?

Wendy:
We cannot wait to get back to the normal social things that we’ve been doing because we can’t replicate the warm up. Get the first contact in person, we can’t replicate that. We can’t wait to get back to that. But my belief is that zoom and other similarly situated virtual platforms will become like Facebook, there will be places where we can augment our in person interaction. So we will still meet in person as often as we can. But when we’re traveling when we’re when we’re physically distance, as we’ve heard ourselves, we will augment the physical presence with the virtual presence because we now know how easy it is. So many people that were afraid of technology are now comfortable with the very same technologies that would have scared them off four months ago, use a zoom meeting that would say no way I’ll be on the phone. Now, having realized how easy it is and having to do it sometimes all day every day. Boy, zoom fatigue, that’s become a hashtag that’s been trending for a couple of months. But now that we all know how to use the technology, we use it to supplant what we already enjoy in person. There will always be a different feeling to meet someone in person, then you meet someone online, maybe it’s just something different than Well, you know, it’s we have to see whether or not sparks will fly online in the same way they do in person for a lot of relationships. But we also know that they do. Because you and I, and our listeners, everybody can probably name 10 people who met their spouse on a dating website. And that wasn’t in person that was online, and it wasn’t even zoom. So it is very possible. But again, as we were mentioning before, it’s with an eye towards in person, but when we can’t be together, zoom meetings and other types of virtual platforms. Can we say it’s the next best thing we used to say the phone was but now I think we can say that virtual platforms are even if it’s a FaceTime call, we get to see each other we get to show each other things. Remember show and tell is a big part of relationship is that reciprocity, you know, families zoom calls, and they you know, kids are coming into the frame, people are holding things up to the screen. Like it’s easy. To see if you’re right in front of the camera, I suppose that makes it impossible to see. But those are just some examples of how we very much relish sharing of ourselves. interpersonally. And we can do that easy in person can’t do that on the phone. We can’t do that on email, but we can do it to some extent on zoom.

Jane:
Yeah, yeah, I agree. And I was immediately thinking of my zoom calls with my family in the Netherlands, of course, and like, how they, how they go and what we do and what we show?

Wendy:
Yeah, definitely. Because we have the video now you feel more connected more than if you just would call a person, right? Everybody’s always holding something up to the air. Doesn’t matter how often you zoom. You got something you have to show off to the group?

Jane:
Yeah, definitely. Oh, Wendy this this was amazing. Um, one more question. What do you think is the most important thing that you’ve mentioned today that you want people to remember about our talk?

Wendy:
I think the most important thing is just the value of interpersonal contact, even if it’s via zoom as closest, we can get to those that we love is fulfilling for us. And for them, there’s just something that can’t be recaptured electronically or even on the phone. There’s just that that bonding power of zoom. And if you doubt that, think through the people you’ve met for the first time virtually over the last couple of months, and how connected you feel to them versus people you’ve never met, but maybe talk to on the phone, or maybe their Facebook friends you’ve actually never connected with. So the bonding power of physical distancing has really manifested itself virtually. And it’s going to do for now and just think of how rewarding it’s finally going to be when we get to meet our new zoom friends in person. I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to meeting you, Jane.

Jane:
Yeah, me too. Likewise, I can’t wait. I can’t wait till we can travel again. Yeah, well, this was amazing. Thank you so much, Wendy, for sharing your knowledge and yeah, let’s hope we can see each other’s soon.

Wendy:
Thank you for having me.