“Laura You’re Muted”

Before the pandemic I had never heard of Zoom as a computer application. I was familiar with zooming around. (Our puppy Zoe has bouts of what we call “puppy zooms” tearing around the back yard.) Any classes or meetings I attended took place in one location with the attendees sitting around in chairs. Everyone was fully dressed. Rarely did anyone arrive late and no one walked off in the middle leaving their chair empty until they returned many minutes later. For most discussions people took their cues from listening for a gap in the conversation before they spoke. If someone was droning on and on I just had to wait him out. Zoom has changed many of these characteristics of meetings.

This week I have “attended” two Zoom classes. The first was a gathering from my church as one of our friars gave the third of four talks on interpretations of the Cross. Half of the attendees had their video cameras on so we could see their faces and their names. Half just showed up without video with such titles as “Ray’s IPad.” (Maybe some people were in their pajamas or just feeling antisocial.) Many of our parish don’t drive at night, so this evening session allowed more older attendees than might have occurred on site at the church. For most of the sessions we were all “muted” by a moderator who called on anyone who wanted to ask a question with the instruction to “unmute yourself” and speak.

The second was a series of talks and discussions on T.S. Eliot’s poems The Four Quartets. Sponsored by a Canadian journal, this was taught by a professor from Texas with attendees from around the world from Ottawa to Sydney. While I might have been able to attend the first class at church in person, the second was an opportunity entirely enabled by Zoom. In this instance after the lecture the moderator broke us up into eight person discussion groups. A great trick. The eight of us were unmuted and we had to figure out when to talk and when to listen.

As for the title of this post, the comment I hear most often coming from my husband’s office where all work is on Zoom is “_____you’re muted.” And I have come to know what that means in Zoom talk. It means you are talking but no one can hear you.

I am curious about the experiences any of you have had with Zoom. Have you found it adds or takes away from pre-pandemic ways of meeting?

26 thoughts on ““Laura You’re Muted”

  1. It has given my mother, my two sisters and me a way to have a Bible study across the US. Also, my book group has been able to reunite with a few members who had moved away! Very beneficial!


  2. I had never heard of Zoom before the pandemic. Only one or two staff/teachers at school had heard of Zoom. So, we had to learn it (fast) and adapt our teaching to Zoom. Yes, regardless of how creative and fun we were, Zoom as school was terrible for children. There are pluses, communicating face-to-face online is a biggie.


    1. No kid should have had to endure school on Zoom. A neighbor’s kid did Zoom kindergarten and his mother had to fight the district to keep him in in person kindergarten the next year instead of putting him in first grade. He was completely unprepard for first grade.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The comment, “You’re muted,” happens in every ZOOM meeting I’ve attended. I am a big ZOOM fan. My brothers and I (in four different time zones) have met once a month since COVID started. It’s been an excellent way for all of us to know what’s going on in each other’s lives.


  4. Our writing group zoomed our monthly meetings during the pandemic, although some couldn’t cope with the technology (or their equipment didn’t). Our ‘host’ recorded the sessions for those who couldn’t make it, or dropped out and I wrote up vague ‘minutes’ of proceedings. It was good to have human contact. None of us were muted (by design, anyway) and we learned to take turns if we wanted to hear and be heard.
    Sometimes I wish I could click a button and mute our youngest terrier as easily. I might forget to unmute him again though.


  5. I had a lot of zoom meetings during the pandemic. I took some art and writing classes via zoom. Honestly, though, it seems to have waned completely in my world.


  6. Zoom and FaceTime were a real bonus for me during the pandemic, chatting to friends as far away as Australia, book club and photo club meetings, Art lectures etc, and I still chat many days during the week!


  7. I’ve never actually used Zoom I did try during the Pandemic lock down but our signal wasn’t strong enough to get through!
    We find as a family WhatsApp group video calls work for birthdays, Mother’s Days etc which is a similar format I believe but you don’t have to log on.
    Blessings, Jennifer


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