How are you?

“Hey. How are you Ava?“

For me, this is a reflex.  It’s how I start pretty much any conversation. So, at the start of Zoom calls, as the colleagues pop in to view, the question pops out of my mouth.

Back in the good old days, it was a conversational lob. To be lightly batted back without much thought or effort. This simple gambit can now be so freighted with meaning as to make recipient wince and falter.

“How am I?”

In January of 2021, it’s no longer a fair question really. It’s not a reasonable request to make of a person. I now wonder, on hearing the question asked of me, should we really get into this? Do I really know anyway? Most of the time, I have no idea. 

Perhaps we should lower the bar for the introductory remark and start more simply. Take the pressure off the opening exchange with a simple request.

“Hey Ava. What’s your favourite colour?”

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