We are all getting (or going to get) used to seeing ourselves on camera or finding ways to avoid seeing ourselves on camera. We record our lessons and read alouds, log in to Meet or Zoom for virtual meetings, and even video chat with people we would normally share space with.
All the while, we (I imagine I am not alone) are transported back to our younger selves.
For me, it was pushing two buttons – play AND record – on the old, one-speaker black cassette player. The red light came on and I sang or talked or read. Then, I’d run it back to listen to myself, like I would Cyndi Lauper or Janet Jackson.
But unlike listening to Cyndi and Janet, I would not like what I heard. I would not recognize that voice that was coming from outside of me. “Is that what I really sound like?” I’d wonder.
But it wouldn’t stop me. I kept doing it, the unfamiliarity taking a back seat to my dreams of becoming a Cyndi or a Janet someday.
And, if I were (more than) a little bit younger, I would have likely used video in the same way I used my bedroom mirror: watching myself rehearse moves fit for a music video or a rock concert. “Is that what I really look like?” I’m sure I would have wondered if I had had the chance to record myself.
And I would have done it anyway.
Yes, in the coming days, we will hear ourselves and see ourselves in ways that only we can, as outsiders. We will hesitate to make these moments public and will be slow to show our faces and share our voices.
Do it anyway.
Know that everyone else – from student to colleague to family – is just glad to see you. And they need to… to see your face, to hear your voice. It’s how we will get through.