Zoomed out

Now that I have one year of practice of Zooming around, the wealth of experience I have amassed makes me a self-appointed expert on conducting webinars, video conferencing, e-meetings and bar crawling in augmented reality.

Which must be why some of your eager beavers out there want to know about do’s and don’t do’s on Zoom. My general answer is that all behavioural traits we exhibit in physical meetings apply equally during virtual interactions.

So, for instance, if you are rude and grumpy in face-to-face meetings you are perfectly within your rights to be an e-jerk on Google Meet. The idea is to be your true self, and not deceive anyone by being someone you are not, just because you are meeting in cyberspace.

And that brings me to FAQs from readers who have specific queries, and in the interest of public harmony and world peace, I will endeavour to answer some of them below:

Q: What is the proper dress code during a Zoom meeting?

This depends on a case-by-case basis, and subject matter of the aforementioned Zoom conclave. For example, if one is partaking in an online Annual General Meeting of the All-Nepal Nudist Colony, it is perfectly a-ok to be stark raving naked. In fact, it would be a statutory requirement in such a situation to be completely disrobed on camera.

However, if it is your weekly Rotary Club meeting, then it is acceptable to attend the Zoom in one’s undies. The rule of thumb is that being topless is a big no-no, whereas no one will notice if you are bottomless. For gentlemen, the recommended dress code would be tie, business jacket, boxer shorts and flip-flops. For ladies, a satin party wear top with a comfortable micro-fibre hipster undergarment and pink indoor fur sandals.

I hope that answers your question.

Q: What is the proper etiquette while Zooming on one’s mobile?

The advantage about Zooming on a phone is that you are not tied to your desk, and can move about freely within the cosy confines of your own home. This adds a nice touch of intimacy and an element of informality to monotonous Board Meetings that go on and on. It is perfectly possible, therefore, that you have the urge to attend to a call from nature while on an endless Zoom call. If such a scenario should transpire it is perfectly acceptable to walk over to the loo while holding your mobile at selfie distance with one hand. However, it is considered rude to turn your video off while in the restroom.

Q: Is it also rude to be muted during an online class?

Yes, it is very rude. In fact, your entire undergrad class should be able to participate with the ambient sound in every home to give the lecture a degree of authenticity, and the professors an idea of what their students are up to. After all, communication is a two-way process and the teacher would like to hear important feedback from your dog. Or the vacuum cleaner.

The Ass