Another dot in the blogosphere?

Brutal honesties

Posted on: September 2, 2021

This reply and the original tweet reflect brutal honesties about romanticised aspects of higher “education” and office work.

If you are a white-collar office worker, you might have a cubicle. A large part of work is fencing yourself off from others and staring at a screen — much like working from home with Zoom.

If you are a university student, then attending mass lectures is the norm. Your institution might make video recordings of these lectures available online so that you can watch them on your own schedule. Or you might attend a Zoom-based lecture.

An aside: The photo of the lecture hall is of a local university. It was taken well before COVID-19. It is so large that there are smaller screens halfway up the hall. I recall using it several times for briefings of large numbers of students or student teachers.

Back to the message: Both the photos might make you think about how we can be alone together. Furthermore, being face-to-face does not automatically make work or education better. This mode does not guarantee that we are more productive or studious. 

There are other social, environmental, and other factors that make face-to-face interactions desirable, e.g., immediacy, convenience, structure. But there are other factors and conditions that make going online better than being face-to-face, e.g., more time to think through tasks/problems, not needing to commute, greater freedom.

If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we might realise that returning to “normal” is not good for everyone in every circumstance. Lockdowns due to the pandemic tried to teach us that. Has that lesson even registered?

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