The practice of Sabbath is like the practice of taking refuge… . Much of modern life, of course, is specifically designed to seduce our attention away from this inner place of refuge. When we are in the world with our eyes wide open, the seductions are insatiable. Hundreds of channels of cable and satellite television; telephones with multiple lines and call-waiting, so we can talk to more than one person at a time; fax machines; mail, e-mail, and overnight mail; billboards; magazines; newspapers; radio. Every stimulus competes for our attention…
Sabbath time can become our refuge. During the Sabbath, we set aside a sanctuary in time, disconnect from the frenzy of consumptions and accomplishment, and consecrate our day as an offering for healing all beings. — Wayne Muller, Sabbath: FindingRest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives
Worth noting that Wayne Muller published Sabbath in 1999, when social media was in its infancy and not remotely close to the way we know it today (yes, there was social media before Facebook).
It was years before Netflix, Amazon Prime, AppleTV, and other streaming services would come into the picture. And I’m confident that Muller did not imagine our current state of Zooming.
Simple times. 😉
At the start of the coronavirus quarantine Zoom emerged as a popular method of connecting; a way to bring meetings to our homes, to bridge the vast abyss between us and others created by the lockdown. But now, many are starting to tire from Zoom. If you’re feeling over it, you’re not alone.
Zoom fatigue is real.
A recent New York Times article offered advice about how to decline Zoom meetings.
Much of the advice from professional therapists was to lie. I can’t even …
This is terrible advice.
Here’s the thing:
If you’re struggling to say no to a Zoom meeting or a FaceTime chat, I’m willing to bet that lying about the reason you don’t want to pick up your phone or dial into a meeting will not serve you.
More likely you find yourself saddled with guilt. Any benefit you get from avoiding the truth will be outweighed by your anxiety about the lie.
Who needs that? Certainly not you.
You have the right to say no.
You have the right to take a digital Sabbath — on any day of the week, at any hour. Sabbath isn’t about carving a day on Saturday or Sunday (although it can be); it can be an hour, a morning, an afternoon.
If there is one lesson we can take from this time, it is that health care begins with self-care.
Being honest about your Zoom fatigue will save you the anxiety of keeping track of little white lies, and may encourage others to turn off their screens for a while.
Of course, you don’t even owe anyone an explanation. You can simply decline without a reason.
In the words of Nancy Reagan, just say no.