People, when you attend a Zoom meeting we can see you!

Not only can we see you, but we also see your name (Len that means you, next time PLEASE keep your clothes on!).

Am I the only one developing anger management issues with Zoom participants who exhibit poor or nonexistent manners or am I being too demanding? After reading about  my two latest Zoom experiences I think you will agree that someone (perhaps me?) has to be in charge of Zoom etiquette.

Before going further however I will explain the difference between a Zoom Webinar and a Zoom Meeting. This explanation should  not only prove my impressive bona fides (developed with the help of Google) but should convince everyone that I should  serve as the Zoom Etiquette Expert Extraordinaire (ZEEE).

Zoom Meetings are designed to be a collaborative event with all participants able to screen share, turn on and off their own video and audio, rename themselves (good idea for some to consider) and see who else is in attendance. When joining a meeting via Zoom you are given the option to “Open with Video” then to “Open with Audio”. When you see these options it’s your clue that you can be seen and heard by everyone.

 Zoom Webinars allow for view-only attendees and are designed so that only the host and panelists can share their video, audio and screen. Attendees cannot be seen and are muted, but do have the ability to interact via Q&A, Chat, and/or answer polling questions. Only the host can unmute someone and in webinars attendees cannot rename themselves.  You can tell its a Webinar and not a Meeting because upon logging in your options will be “Join Webinar” or “Join Webinar in Progress”.

More simply stated, a standard Zoom meeting is fully interactive and allows participants to see, speak, hear, and screen-share with each other. A Zoom webinar is a view-only platform where the attendees cannot see each other, and the Host cannot see the attendees.

As promised, I will briefly outline two of my latest, absolutely true, Zoom experiences to describe the need for a ZEEE:

At the end of a Zoom exercise class a few days ago I watched in total disbelief as Len stood up and nonchalantly began removing his clothes. After taking off his shirt and shorts he casually sat back down and continued to watch the Q & A session. Fortunately, while I was praying he wasn’t going to take us into the shower with him, the moderator noticed (hard to miss) and turned off his video. I sincerely hope someone will contact him in the near future and explain how zoom works!

It’s impossible for me to believe, but if after reading about Len you’re thinking to yourself “yes, she is much too demanding” or  “we don’t need a ZEEE” please read on….

The day after the Len episode I attended another Zoom meeting, this one was a lecture presented by one of my favorite speakers. About ten minutes into the session one of the audience members (I’ll call her Stella), who was attending the meeting on her cell, turned her cell view around to look at herself. For some strange reason, when she did this it overrode the Speaker View which meant that the 40 or so attendees were now looking at  Stella looking at herself. I assume she had no clue this was happening and because the speaker didn’t stop her, for the next two hours Stella’s face would suddenly pop up and take over the screen, then just as suddenly disappear. After a while, instead of paying attention to the lecture, I found myself anxiously waiting for the next Stella sighting (and let me assure you Stella did not disappoint!). For almost two hours she would unexpectedly appear and be ambling around her apartment, combing her hair, ever so slooowly applying lipstick, until finally at the end we watched her sit and stare into space.

In retrospect someone (me) should have sent a private message to the speaker and asked her to  turn off Stella’s video….. next time (and I’m sure there will be a next time!) in my role as self appointed ZEEE, I definitely will.

Furthermore, as your ZEEE I implore you, when participating in a Zoom Meeting, to behave as if you were in the theater (sigh), at the ballet or movies or attending an in-person event (even bigger sigh). In case it’s hard to remember that far back, fear not, the ZEEE is here to help with a few easy  tips (feel free to email me any additional suggestions, although I can’t imagine what they could possibly be). Here goes……

  1. Do not attend a Zoom Meeting on your cell phone! If you have no other options do not turn the camera around to look at yourself.
  2. When attending a Zoom Meeting, always dress appropriately, at least the part we can see. E.g. a few months ago I attended a large zoom meeting with a woman who was wearing a see-through nightgown!
  3. Keep in mind that although you might be using Speaker View, everyone at the meeting who chooses Gallery View can see you.  Walking around the room, rocking in your rocking chair, blowing your nose, knitting, eating, talking on your cell phone, or applying makeup are no no’s
  4. And perhaps arguably the most important one, PLEASE keep your clothes on!!




2 thoughts on “People, when you attend a Zoom meeting we can see you!

  1. Ah yes Ms. Florence. Looking forward to not having to rely on your formidable skills – just seeing you in person. Til then please enforce ALL THESE GREAT RULES.

    Poor you having to endure Len. Guaranteed that he was not easy on the eyes!


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