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The A to Z of Zoom

Zoom has become part of all our lives over the past few months. Here’s a light-hearted look at some of the quirks of the video meeting platform, as well as some of the things it’s taught us about ourselves and our colleagues…

A – Audio only. The choice of beginners and introverts. That is until you’re the only one with a black screen so you crumble to the social pressure and go full video.

B – Bad connection. But you pretend to hear everything the other person says anyway.

C – Caught unawares. Like when you’re a few minutes early and you’re checking yourself out on screen and realise an equally early colleague has been watching you all along.

D – Domestic life. Zoom has afforded us insight into our colleagues’ home life like never before. Also see R, P and S.

Women works on laptop at home with young child in the foreground.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

E – Earpods, wireless. The key to looking casually cool on Zoom.

F – Forty-minute limit. In the beginning everyone was secretly pleased by this (“More time to try my latest sourdough recipe!”) but then we got upgraded

G – Giant head. You don’t have to sit so close to the screen—everyone can see you just fine.

H – Hungry. How you feel after back-to-back Zoom calls. That’s because lockdown has conditioned your metabolic system to expect a snack every 30 minutes minimum.

I – I really need to pee. Yeah, so do I. Anyone know the Zoom etiquette for excusing yourself?

J – Jokes. With delay, jumpy screens and everyone talking over each other, attempts at wit and irony usually fail miserably.

Kyphosis Clinical term for ‘hunchback’. Apparently being bent over your laptop during very long Zoom calls can lead to abnormal rounding of the upper-back…

Clipboard with clinical diagram of the spine attached to it.
Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

L – Last minute panic. It’s 10:59 and you can’t find the email—sent two weeks ago—containing the link to the 11am meeting. Frantic scrolling.

M – Mute. “You’re on mute! You’re on mute! She’s on mute.”

N – Novelty. Wearing off fast. Can we please go back to boardrooms and whiteboards?

O – Overshare despair. Realising, post-Zoom call, that you might have revealed a little too much about your lockdown life. “I open a bottle of wine at eleven and just eat cake all day, ha-ha! What about you?”

P – Pets. Dogs barking. Cats walking across the keyboard. A rare insight into our colleagues’ home menagerie.

Cat sitting on a bed looking at a laptop screen.
Photo by Catherine Heath on Unsplash

Q – Quinoa porridge and how to make it (plus other newfound recipes/eating habits discussed during the ‘non-meeting’ part of Zoom calls).

R – Random person in background. That quick flash of a colleague’s boyfriend/husband walking by in nothing more than his underwear will haunt you forever.

S – Spying. As in checking out the background contents of your colleagues’ lounges/kitchens instead of concentrating on the conversation.

T – Tanned. Did you notice how everyone got progressively browner with each weekly call?

U – Underdressed. Everyone else is in work wear. You’re in pyjamas.

V – Voice emanating from a black screen. See A.

W – Weather. The favoured topic for combating those awkward remote silences.

X – Xerosis. Abnormal dryness of the eyes. A common symptom of back-to-back Zoom calls.

Y – Yuan, Eric. Founder of Zoom. Was extremely rich, now even richer.

Z – Zoom, obvs. Will we never be set free?

Laptop with screen showing a Zoom call in progress with main speaker a blank space with question mark.
Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

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