Learning Zoom-iquette for Social Distancing

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Learning Zoom-iquette for Social Distancing

By Susan Goldfein 

Since the onset of COVID—19, society has been experiencing a Zoom boom! The company, which has existed since 2011, has suddenly become everyone’s favorite vehicle for virtual social contact. It’s the go-to app for flat screen, two-dimensional relationships. And you don’t have to wear a mask. 

I, for one, am grateful for Zoom. I can talk to someone face-to-virtual face without concern that I haven’t yet brushed my teeth.  Or applied deodorant.  And I find some of the Zoom options very enticing, particularly the ability to silence someone who talks too much. Live people don’t come with “mute” buttons. 

Which brings me to my main point: are there rules for the new social order? I’ve done some research and am prepared to share with you what I’ve uncovered so far. 

Wear Pants for Zoom

Or at the very least, make sure you’re wearing clean underwear. Since you’re seated during Zoom chats, it’s reasonable to be shirt-focused. But remember your mother’s warning; it applies to Zoom calls as well as accidentally getting hit by a car.   

Calls of Nature 

It’s tempting, but don’t take your device with you to the bathroom due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, for those of you who don’t speak iGen.) Make sure you turn off the camera and the sound.  No one wants to hear you flush! 

While video chatting with Zoom can be great, be sure to make it enjoyable for the rest of your party.
While video chatting with Zoom can be great, be sure to make it enjoyable for the rest of your party.

Consider Your Surroundings 

While Zoom does provide some interesting backdrops, no one will believe that you’re actually at the Grand Canyon or that you own the Picasso behind you. But you can select a home space that reflects who you are. And definitely remove all plants that haven’t been watered in three months. 

Flaunt Your Intellect

stack your shelves with the complete works of Shakespeare, the lives of German philosophers and all three books in the Hilary Mantel Cromwell series. Then sit in front of your bookcase and smugly take your call. 

Leave Vanity Outside the Chat Room 

Although you see yourself on camera, avoid the temptation to adjust your hair, seek your best angle or move from room to room in search of optimal lighting. There’s nothing more distracting than a swishing pony tail, or a face that appears to be following a tennis match.  

Abide by Time Limits 

While it’s adorable to how off your precious pets and cute babies, 30 seconds is long enough… actually, make that 20. 

Susan’s newest book, How to Complain When There’s Nothing to Complain About, is available at Amazon.com and other online book sellers. Read her blog at www.SusansUnfilteredWit.com. Email SusanGoldfein@aol.com 

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