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!