Get Over It — Turn ON Your Camera

Seth Eisenberg
2 min readApr 4, 2020

A period of national isolation makes it more important than ever to see and be seen. Getting over the discomfort it takes to turn on our cameras is worth it.

Adapted from iStockphoto.

I began using Zoom years before Coronavirus reached our community and closed our schools and offices.

One experience stands out.

Early in a global training meeting, I was moved out of the group room where you could see lots of people into a breakout room where I could only see a chaplain a thousand miles away. In an instant, I felt the difference between texting, emailing, or phone calls. I could see his face, eyes, expressions, and felt his presence. Our connection felt deeply personal.

In those moments together, I felt cared about, valued, and important to the chaplain. He later shared feeling the same.

Zoom has become ubiquitous to our daily routines, not just at work. In a few days, our family will use Zoom to celebrate Passover with 20+ family members across the country.

These virtual gatherings feel completely different when I’m able to see the faces of each person.

In many meetings, there are almost always a few who keep their cameras off most of the time or always. I’ve often been one of those people.

I can understand the hesitations.

For a host of different reasons, it can feel too personal, too intimate — even an intrusion or invasion. It often means allowing others to see us as we are, sans the masks and costumes that can be meticulously adorned.

Coronavirus isolation has changed the urgency of seeing and feeling seen.

Few of us, hopefully none, will become sick, symptomatic, or worse as a result of the global pandemic.

All of us will be touched by the isolation, disruptions to our daily routines, financial, social, and related consequences.

It’s a time when knowing we’re cared about, important, and seen by others is more important than ever.

I suspect if we were hooked up to monitors, feeling the presence of others by knowing we see and are seen would have a positive impact on emotional and physical well-being. I equally suspect that remains a frightening prospect for many, likely those who can most benefit.

While we can’t shake hands, hug, or sit side-by-side, we can turn on our cameras, see each other with all our senses, and know we are not alone.

For many, that means getting over some of the rules, beliefs, fear, and discomfort about seeing and being seen.

It’s worth it.



Seth Eisenberg

Seth Eisenberg is Chairman and CEO of Purpose Built Families Foundation and Co-Founder of the Operation Sacred Trust program for ending Veteran homelessness.