Me: (Allowing another team member to answer while I silently think to myself: “I could if I wasn’t busy on another screen.”)
Screen sharing is what’s wrong with today’s team culture. One person leads. One voice talks at everyone. Many ears and eyes strain to follow the leader as an array of images, charts, spreadsheets and factoids bombard our senses. The lag time only makes matters worse as we attempt to keep up with and keep track of this information dump.
Meanwhile, our short and growing shorter attention span hinders our ability to focus. Bouncing between conversation apps, email, work, social media and everything else happening in the 3D world at home has made it next to impossible to remain attentive to another person’s screen, let alone our own!
Screen sharing is the meeting leader’s idea of good; it’s not ours. This is the fundamental problem with the way we have been working “together.” Instead, we need to find solutions that enable collaboration, collaboration that goes beyond reviewing another’s thought process, or ideation vomit.
And thus, screen sharing has become the antithesis of collaboration. It fundamentally disallows more than one person from sharing at a time. By its very nature, it is the opposite of interactive. And if we as humans are not actively consuming the information being fed to us, we are most likely not absorbing it, either. When we don’t have the option to interact with others or content, our energy and time are wasted. The opportunity to form and exchange ideas with everyone is squandered.
Archaic as the fax machine, screen sharing is a one-way exchange that may or may not work. And while there are still use cases for screen sharing and we will undoubtedly continue to use it, remember the fax machine stayed in use through the 2010s. The government still uses fax machines. The future of work is interactive. The future of work is collaborative. The future of work is together.
As my mother would say, “Many hands make light work.”