25 May Table Pulse Check – The Verdict on Virtual Tables
We’ve been hearing from men about their Virtual Table experiences. The marks vary from an F to a B. The consensus seems to be that it’s a pass, but it’s not quite like being together in person at the Table.
With NSW pub restrictions lifting, we encourage you to call your venues and book your Table in well ahead of time to ensure they’ve got a place for you for your next meeting. For our Perth, Launceston and Auckland Tables, we hope the local authorities soon allow for you to resume meeting in-person too. Here’s a few comments we’ve heard from men about the Virtual Table experience.
- “I feel that the Zoom format definitely doesn’t work as well – although a great option under the circumstances. I think we are holding back on a subconscious level, perhaps due to two reasons. 1) We’re in our house and within earshot of loved ones, potentially. 2) You lose something when it comes to intimacy and the way that you can’t really react to the room. Overall as a group, I feel that we are in a good place and supporting each other as best we can through weird times”
- “We had 10 men in the virtual table on Wednesday. There was some important sharing and a good connection between the group. In terms of the table’s evolution, I think that whilst the virtual tables are a good stop gap measure, we will move towards deeper connection and sharing in a face to face setting. Hopefully the isolation restrictions will be lifted enough in the near future so we can resume face to face catch ups in the next month or two”
- “Now that I’m physically at home, I realise that I can’t emotionally compartmentalise for my Table. I just don’t feel I could present my true authentic self via a Virtual Table while the family are just metres away from me. I’m feeling energetically sound and robust, the family has a good all-together thing going on, but there are emotional ups and downs that are just going to have to wait a bit longer. I think I need the physical separation that the Table usually has before I can fully participate in it again”
- “Our talks are more like a catch-up now which is good but I wonder if we are drifting off the real purpose – just a bit. But it is a strange time and valuable to discuss what everyone is going through”
- “It was an enjoyable second virtual meeting last Tuesday. The new members started to feel more comfortable in the group. We had some poignant moments with members sharing their feelings. Some of their experiences seemed to be shared for the first time, or at least not for a long time. This Zoom technology is becoming familiar but it will never replace physical presence albeit at a two metre distance. At times the demon Footy and Shit slipped into the meeting but we soon recognised this and booted it out the door! Personally I suspect that the days of hugs and handshakes may be a thing of the past at least for a while which is a shame. This doesn’t and will not diminish the strength of the table”
- “I noted a high level of comfort expressing dissonance and discomfort and challenges numerous men were facing. Silences were welcomed. We did a lovely grounding exercise. It felt like we dropped into what was needed for everyone. 11 attended with one apology”
- “Our Table is alive and well and whilst physically distanced this past 2 meetings, we’re becoming a stable group building on trust as we go. With many impacted during these times, it’s an ideal opportunity for us to reach out to those who would need and value the MT, so we’re proactively promoting expansion of our Table as we speak”
- “It’s times like these that we all crave connection even more and the type of connection we get during a Table is both unique and extremely beneficial. I missed the last one but the one before was great considering it was virtual”