“Old Dog, Another New Trick”


When I first heard of Zoom, I paid no attention. It appeared to be something that people who worked in offices were using to talk to one another without having to go into the office. Since I am retired, I neither go to an office building nor work with someone else. But it turned out that Zoom was going to be the way I communicated in several ways important in my life. Church discussion groups would be on Zoom. My book group was going to meet on Zoom. My spiritual director was now using Zoom. If she, at 82, could master the app, who was I to ignore it?

It turns out that Zoom is so popular because it is exceedingly user friendly. It took me about five minutes to install it on my computer. Joining a meeting after that necessitated simply clicking a link in an email.  It took me another thirty minutes to figure out how to schedule a meeting of my own. I have now done that three times, although at one point I lost my own meeting somewhere in the atmosphere. Apparently my invitee showed up to an empty room!

I have written before about etiquette tips for using Zoom, but I will repeat some of them. Be sure to get dressed, especially if you are used to using your computer in your pajamas. Avoid the bad habits of scratching, picking, yawning and burping that seem fine alone but are suddenly broadcast into everyone else’s houses via Zoom. Realize that anything that is around you will be visible to other Zoom participants. So if there is any reading material that you don’t wish to make public(your secret love of dime novels, for example), move it. Of course you can also stage your background with impressive books even if you never open them!

And my favorite tip if you are at your desktop and your computer has a mute button. While you cannot actually silence another Zoom participant, you can secretly mute the speaker until they are done. This is the equivalent of doodling during a meeting, but has the advantage of appearing as if you are actually listening. I have found this trick extremely useful during some church discussion groups!


24 thoughts on ““Old Dog, Another New Trick”

  1. Lucky for you, Elizabeth, Joe Biden’s not going to choose you for his running mate (not that you wouldn’t make an excellent “old dog” of a VP), because the last sentence of your post is all Trump would need to accuse you of hurting God. 😉


  2. Yes, Zoom has been a lifeline during these strange times. I’m learning to be careful in what I say, paying extra attention to whether I’m on mute or not. The best feature of Zoom though has to be the one for appearance, where you can smooth away the wrinkles and make yourself look a little better at least for the time being! 🙂


  3. Like most new technologies, I was slow to embrace it, but now I love it. My three brothers and I (scattered across four time zones) meet this way each month.

    Your story of the person who showed up to an empty Zoom room had me laughing, mostly because I did the same thing two weeks ago on a committee I volunteer with. (My mistake) I showed up two weeks in advance. 🤣 Where is everybody?


  4. some of my craft groups used Zoom during our Lockdown period – I found it interesting but in a way I go so annoyed because you see I changed my Christian name a few years ago and a variety of people at one meeting got into a huge discussion (read argument) about that…and when I pointed out to one that also during our lifetime of the group I had changed my surname so why couldn’t they accept my new name!

    the following week, was no better…and that’s when I decided that I didn’t have to put up that nonsense and/or that “clicky scenario”

    by the way I changed from name back to my birth name: Catherine – hadn’t used it for 50 odd years as I had been Cathy…there are still pockets of very old friends (not these people) who can’t handle the change, and I do answer to both. But I now always introduce myself as Catherine


    1. How intrusive! We have the same issue with a dear nun friend of mine. Her name is Virginia, but people insist on calling her Ginnie, despite being asked to use her full name.


  5. Zoom (and FaceTime) …my sanity preservers during lockdown. OK, not the same as being with your friends in reality, but not a bad substitute


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s