Now there's a title I'll bet no one else has used.

All the disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus turns out to have a positive side for us prosopagnosiacs. Suddenly all meetings are taking place via ZOOM, GoToMeeting, or some similar vehicle.

Think of the boon this is to those who suffer from face blindness! Suddenly everyone in the room is labelled! There's the person's picture, and right below it his name! The system is only as good as the names people choose to associate with their photos—I bless those who give their full names, rather than just "Jim"—but the chaos has been somewhat tamed. I'm particularly enjoying it in our church "happy hours" where I am finally, albeit very slowly, beginning to associate names, faces, and voices.

(As I was writing this, it occurred to me to wonder why I am not in favor of wearing name tags in church. It's actually a very helpful practice for people like me. I guess I still have scars from a church where the pastor used what he called "motivation by embarrassment" to encourage the wearing of nametags. If Martin Luther thought Satan could be driven away through the use of mocking and scorn, let me just say that it is also an effective method of driving shy and sensitive people far away from your church.)

It's interesting to me the different ways people react to this video social interaction. I find it helpful, but my husband finds it frustrating. I experience less chaos than in real life, he—accustomed to strictly-regulated business meetings—feels more. I know my daughter feels more comfortable with Zoom meetings than her husband does; I wonder if there is a difference between introverts and extroverts here as well?

I also find that meetings are more manageable if I listen more than I talk. I probably could learn something from that.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 9:21 am | Edit
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I'm in a new Zoom Bible study for church. I can see the names (usually just first names), but the faces aren't at all clear. So I'm worried that when I finally see these people in person, I won't have any chance of recognizing them, though they might recognize me.

Posted by Kathy Lewis on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 1:24 pm

Interesting. I would say the faces are pretty clear in my Zoom sessions -- I'm sure it helps that I put them up on my external monitor. And by "faces" you know I mean "that combination of features and hair and dress and voice that passes for my mental picture of a face.

If you're at all like me in this, if you can get them to speak first when you see them, you'll stand a much better chance. There's one friend that I see about once a year, and always in the grocery store. I'm thankful that she's often on the phone because I know her instantly by her voice, but without that....

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 1:46 pm
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