What do the following groups of words have in common? 

Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime group video. 

The answer is that until 3 weeks ago I didn’t know how to use any of these virtual meeting forums, and honestly didn’t know they even existed. 

Now I’m comfortable (maybe more like semi-functional) in this “new normal” business setting. 

Our kids are using Zoom to interact with their teachers and fellow students and also getting lessons and tutorials from the school. 

At work, it’s been very beneficial to have these technological offices to continue to conduct business, and it’s also allowing interaction with people that we’re used to seeing daily. 

And I’ve been able to connect with some old friends in group settings, some of which I haven’t seen in 20 plus years! 

So, here are some things that I’ve seen and learned from all of this. 

Remember that you are going to be on live camera, so you should make sure you are somewhat presentable. If it’s a meeting for the school or church, you should probably refrain from wearing a Busch Light T-Shirt and make sure you don’t sit in front of your GWAR, Ozzy Osbourne, or Cindy Crawford bikini posters. 

When you are bored during the meeting, it is common to study everyone’s backgrounds. Apparently, every house in America has a room with the colors French Macaroon or Alpine Lace, and some sort of wall stenciling. Yes, I looked up light, earthy toned color names to find those. 

If you are using your phone for a video meeting, you are going to get dropped several times, especially if you try and text during the meeting, decline calls from your kids, or generally don’t know how to set your phone to privacy. 

You should probably find a better place than your bed to join a video chat with the 3rd grade teachers and the 3rd grade parents. That’s a little weird, and Sommer and I promise we won’t do it again. 

It is not only accepted, but encouraged, to privately text other people in any virtual meeting to try and get them to lose their composure, no matter the importance of the subject matter. 

Every parent has the responsibility to embarrass their children during ALL non-school related online activities. This includes Fortnite Squads, TIK TOK, Snapchat, etc. 

Yes, you have to do some TIK TOKs, no matter how stupid you feel. I think that is actually the point. The bigger the ass you make of yourself, the more social media relevant you are. 

Don’t EVER assume that your mute button is working. Just don’t. 

When having an online get together with your college buddies, remember you are not in college any more. Haven’t been for 20 some years, and trying to drink beers at a 1996 Mug Night pace is a recipe for disaster. And also remember the promises you are all making to not let 20 years pass before getting together again. 

This isolation has provided a reason, excuse, or need to find interaction through whatever means possible. But maybe more importantly, we’re being reminded how important we all are to one another, and how much we need each other, especially when things are tough. 

So, the next time you’re in a video meeting, ask yourself the most important question of all. 

How many participants aren’t wearing pants?? 

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