January 18, 2021
I have trouble sitting for a few hours attending Zoom meetings. As I get older, the more I suspect that I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). An exception to this is when I am watching a good movie for two hours.
There are so many Webinars, Conferences, Educational Videos, Online courses, available nowadays and my first hurdle is the number of hours I need to listen, watch, participate. I have lost my ability to focus on serious topics. The second deterrent is the enrollment or participation fees. Sometimes a 4-hour webinar fee is $400, others P15,000, yung iba P10,000. I understand the high costs of organizing events like these but maybe it’s just me finding the fees pricey.
I have attended a few that were interesting, some boring, some entertaining.
When I begin to lose my concentration, I focus on the moderators, lecturers, or even participants’ movements. I begin to notice their facial expressions, antics, clothes, fashion accessories, the timber of their voices, the backdrops, surroundings. I look at things behind them, the room facing the audience, me.
Since the majority are working from home or doing the webinars in the comforts of their private enclaves, it’s not unusual to hear barking dogs, people laughing, coughing, meowing cats, and this morning, the crowing of chickens and fighting turkeys.
One time I called the customer service hotline of one of my US-issued credit cards. A baby was crying in the background. When I called the 800 number of a carpet company, what sounds like a fierce dog could be heard from the background. When I asked, he said that’s his dog, a Doberman.
And would you believe I have heard the sound of monkeys too?
Attending meetings in boardrooms, conferences in hotel ballrooms, working in enclosed cubicles in offices are almost gone. I don’t see them coming back in the near future or ever. There will be a new way of attending conferences and meetings post-pandemically.
Since Zoom meetings are here to stay, I would like to share with my Oh My Buhay readers some of my observations hoping that these could help in some way.
Here are a few simple Do’s and don’ts when attending Zoom Meetings:
1. Don’t use the computer screen as your mirror. Before you sit down in front of the monitor, make one last look at how you look in another mirror. Do whatever adjustments you want to do in your dressing room and not in front of your iPad, tablet, cellphone, laptop.
2. Don’t brush your hair, fluff your bangs. A woman is playing with some strands of her long hair while on video-conferencing. Her left-hand keeps flipping the strands and eventually starts looking at the tips of her hair and with her right hand, starts removing split ends.
3. I’ve seen someone picking her nose without realizing that she could be seen by others. I watched in horror while saying “oh no!”
4. A lawyer must have noticed a white hair sticking up so he used his white hand to pull out that nuisance single strand of white hair from his head.
5. Ladies, don’t check your make-up while the meeting is on-going. Don’t pout your lips. Don’t look at your eyebrows because it’s obvious on the screen.
6. Before going live, make sure you pick a spot in your house wherein your screen faces a nice clean wall. Inspect your surroundings. See how far can be seen from the laptop’s camera. This is to avoid any embarrassment.
7. If you have a beautiful area in your house or a room and you want your camera angled facing the expanse of that room, then make sure you lock that room to avoid a half-naked person suddenly appearing on the screen.
8. Before the start of the meeting, inform your housemates, including maids, not to disturb you. Tell them not to walk into the room where you are having a meeting. I have seen a labandera passing behind the speaker carrying a palanggana with labada.
9. Choose a spot away from people and pets. Barking dogs, meowing cats could be distracting.
This moderator couldn’t stand her dogs barking so in the middle of her talk, she stopped and yelled “Hoy! ikulong mo nga si…”
10. This web speaker, while waiting for her turn to interject on the topic about micro opportunities for Filipinos, yelled “Hoy! Tumatapon ang tubig!”
11. She is a mainstay in many webinars, respected in the industry, and recognized for her many collaborations with government entities. Midway through the webinar, she leaned her face over to the screen and tried to prick the blackhead on her nose while listening to a foreign speaker. My eyes grew wide and held my breath and hoped she would not do it. She touched her nose and noticed a spot. Idinilat nya mata nya and kumunot ang noo when she saw this blackhead. She touched it again but maybe she realized oh oh the world’s watching.
12. If someone in your household has a cough (sans covid), please make sure you move away or go to a quieter room. Not good to be hearing someone coughing in the background. You know, we are now suffering from paranoia. If you want people to look at you, start coughing. They will run away from you. Hearing someone coughing even if online makes people uncomfortable.
13. After the foreign guest speaker ended her topic, the moderator started acknowledging the sponsors.
Thinking that the webinar has ended, one of the Filipina panelists from the business sector noticed some white hair on her crown. She leaned over to the screen and inspected the white hair. She must have noticed her thinning hair. She parted her hair revealing her bumbunan to the 50 plus participants.
14. Before proceeding, test the position of your chair, the backdrop, the level of the screen. The best is to position the screen at eye level. I’ve seen people (men and women) putting their laptop or cellphone on a coffee table while they sit on a regular chair. This angle makes you look down at your screen. If you are looking down, the other people can see your face looking upwards. And what does this mean? We see your two very large nostrils. Yung butas ng ilong mo ang nadun sa gitna ng screen. Hmm hmm not nice, unless you are getting ready for a covid19 swab test.