As soon as I disconnect from a conference call, my mind goes blank. "What was the call about?" In a pandemic, it has become the popular/fun way of communicating for companies. The idea of a group of people all communicating together in a call is a technological feat. But when it comes to practicality, it is a mess.
With a video feed of each member of the team, you can see people popping in and out, muting and un-muting, connecting and disconnecting. It's easy to zone out when one person is talking, especially when they are talking about something that doesn't relate to you. Many times, I hear my name on the call, I have to shamefully ask to repeat the question because of... connection issues.
I can't help but think that, the conference call is about the conference call. It's not about solving a problem. If meetings are hard to argue for, then the conference call is the thousand dollars HDMI cable. It's shiny, it looks important, but it adds nothing to the conversation.
The same way the internet turned conversation into smart and witty comments with the proper GIF, the conference call turned meetings into appearance competition.
You can argue for meetings or conference calls. But if a one hour call can be replace with a single bulleted list email, then the argument is weak.
Before starting a meeting or a conference call, check if you can summarize the point you are trying to make in an email.