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HONORING MY MOTHER | Zooming with cats and dogs




WHETHER for business or pleasure, office meetings, school time or simple conversation with fam and friends, using video chats today have become the all-time favorite means of communications in our stay-at-home existence.

I couldn’t even imagine when as a kid during the 60s, that fantastical concept of a video-phone-cum-wristwatch, popular only in Dick Tracy cartoons, could actually become reality sixty years later.

We have surely gone a long long way, starting with the breakthrough cellular phone technology and short message service or SMS of the 80s, that relied on mobile network connections, to the present day, with global applications like Messenger, FB and others which require internet.

In the late 90s up to the early 2000s, a tool called tele-conferencing (which was then crude, but only by today’s standards), was the exclusive toy for business, and had still been unheard-of when it came to home use. Even then, only select companies could afford having such modern way at distance comm, so that one could say it hadn’t really been widely-used at the time. However, in place of the old idiom by leaps and bounds, a jump to the future would no less be the most fitting description to portray what happened next.

In a sense, immediately after that period, practically every aspect that involved our daily activities became influenced by rapid advancements in technology. While the research and design continued to improve, eventually, the by-product generally became affordable, a far cry from the usual elitist status it held, being reachable to only a few. Then, as it finally became available to all, technology gradually creeped into homes much like its old predecessor, electrification. In the end, with home invasion completed, it became as common as dirty dishes.

Enter covid-19. The working population finds itself devoid of an actual office because of work-from-home directives. This had actually been one of the first effects of last year’s global lockdown. Eventually, because of this and the quarantine protocols, the only course for everyone had been to create a workspace within the home. After all why not, most homes were already prepped for that transition anyways. At least, all except for the usual home noise, that is.

In the case my partner, who along with her work buddies engage in video calls daily, the “perils” of working at home cannot be overstressed. Who can avoid cases which range from dogs outside barking loudly, cats jumping on keyboards and routers, and calls from ambulant peddlers selling all kinds of stuff, while at ‘office time’?

As Murphy’s Law would have it, these awkward and irritating occurrences befall whenever one happens to be in the middle of a meeting, a webinar or while one is conducting a job interview and so on. Then also, it seems that all these do not happen when one is on a break or “free”. Perhaps, like others who view such situations, as being the lesser of two evils, it could also be said that it’s a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea or a rock and a hard place. I tell the matey, for me, nothing beats having a good noise-reducing headset or if you’re trying to write, turning on an awesome playlist.

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