We’ve all spent over a year learning the ins and outs of Zoom (like how to “touch up” our appearance, hide non-video participants or make our backdrop the Golden Gate Bridge). And throughout the various gatherings, I’ve noticed a trend of some consistent characters I keep encountering. Here’s a run-down of my “favorites.”
1. The “I can’t figure out Zoom” Zoomer: This person is here… but also not. Usually, there’s a blank square or a half-face, they don’t know how to start the video, mute or unmute audio and they loudly complain about not being able to “get on” when they are (almost) right there.
2. The “I Decorated” for this Zoom: Some people have their little square so perfectly appointed it could win an HGTV Zoom competition. I get checking the background for wayward NSFW objects but I do NOT get having a design plan and ring light for your virtual family game of Monopoly.
3. The “Pet People:” Listen, I have a Boston Terrier named Dublin who is literally the fur heart of my life. But I try to keep him away from the camera, as opposed to those who hold their barking pets so close to the lens it haunts my dreams.
4. The “Twins who always talk at the same time” duo: These people are not actual twins. They’re just the two randoms who always seem to have something to say at the exact same moment (”No you go”… “No you go”…)
5. The “living my life while still on this Zoom” characters: Bless you, boos. I know we’re all still somehow busy even though the world is mostly on pause. But you cannot eat ramen, clip fingernails or floss while in this work meeting. Zoom is not your kitchen, car or bathroom.
6. The “Zoom Cheerleader:” Unfortunately, this is me. I’m dancing in my little square, animatedly talking about how cool break-out rooms are and how fun it is to use the chatbox!!! This is a classic case of the oversell, and the probable reason others get a little condition called “Zoom Fatigue.”
In the next pandemic, I’ll try to Zoom like a normal person. I’ll just stay in my little square and try to keep calm. And hey, when I get bored, I can always re-decorate…