Zoom meetings are a poor substitute for in-person meetings and a worse one for phone calls

Zoom meetings started out as replacements for in-person group meetings, but they're now also replacing phone calls. I think that's a mistake, and so does M.G. Siegler, who explains why in his newsletter, 5ish:

It went something like this: in-person meetings were the norm, then COVID hit, then in-person meetings went away, most meetings were postponed to see how the world would shake out, and when it was clear that it would not shake-out anytime soon, Zoom became the replacement for the in-person meeting. Makes sense, it's video. You can still see the person with whom you intend to speak.

Of course, a Zoom meeting is not a replacement for an in-person meeting at all. It's something entirely different which we're all pretending is an appropriate substitute. But it's not. And what's crazy is that the older technology — again, the phone call — is actually better as a fill-in for the in-person meeting, in most cases, I find. There are plusses and minuses, obviously. And your own mileage may vary. But I much, much, much prefer the phone call now to the Zoom call.

Freedom to move. Freedom to not be putting on some kind of visual performance. Freedom to not have to stare at a screen because the other person is staring at their screen.

Again, we all understand why we thought video would be the best substitute for in-person — it's visual. But I honestly think it's worse in many ways. And worse, it lulls us into thinking it's a direct replacement when in fact, it's something entirely different.