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Sunday, August 14, 2022
ArlingtonOpinion‘Old School’ column: Zoom, Zoom!

‘Old School’ column: Zoom, Zoom!

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by CAROL McEWEN, for the Sun Gazette

When we were kids, we only used that headline phrase – “Zoom, Zoom” – when racing toy cars or pretending to be airplanes. These days, it has a whole new meaning.

I confess to being a Zoom rookie. Initially I thought it was simple because my friend invited me. All I had to do was click on the Join button and I was all set.

More recently, I had to invite others, and then it got complicated. I won’t go into detail except to say I had several false starts before I finally got the hang of it.

Like almost everything else nowadays, there are strict rules governing Zoom etiquette. In fact, while looking for examples on the Internet I found 128 entries on the subject.

There were Zoom recommendations for job interviews, for teaching, and for kids – even a cure for Zoom fatigue. My personal favorite was “Good Zoom Hygiene and Etiquette.”

The source? Churches and universities from New York to California and everywhere in between.

In case you need a brush-up on your Zoom manners, here goes:

  1. Never send a Zoom invitation without asking first. Well, duh. That’s like barging into someone’s home without knocking.
  2. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Who are they kidding?? The only amusing thing in the early quarantine days was wearing a frilly blouse, or suit and tie, above pajama bottoms or sweats. It was a competition to see who could come up with the zaniest combinations.
  3. No pets. You mean my Zoom partner doesn’t love Rover as much as I do?
  4. No eating. With my luck, I’d slop food on the keyboard and leave crumbs on my face.

Alexander McCall Smith, a favorite author and humorist, came up with additional ones:

  1. No fair creating a fake background. Nope, you can’t ditch those trashy novels on the shelves behind you and replace them with hardbound classics. Dishonest.
  2. No nudity below the camera. Of course not! It would be cold.
  3. No waving goodbye at the end. Put me in Zoom jail. I do it all the time. It feels natural, but apparently that’s not considered appropriate. Too friendly??

Now that you have the “rules of the road,” feel free to Zoom your heart out. You might want to do your Old School self a favor and keep a cheat sheet by the computer, just in case.

A resident of Arlington for 40+ years, Carol McEwen sells real estate when she’s not imparting deep insights or sparkling wit in this column. You can reach her at carolwrites4fun@gmail.com.

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