Set up a ‘zoom room’ in your home
Your laptop screen will be a window into your soul this holiday season, so take the opportunity to make your life appear to be in control. One advantage of any global pandemic is that there is no need to clean for guests. When it comes to messes, he’s “off screen, out of mind.” Meanwhile, you can create an idealized – and / or completely false – Vision of your home life: Fill the area behind you with large volumes of poetry, or hard exercise equipment, or the only plant that you have managed to keep alive for more than a week.
Enjoy your bossy streak
When there are more than three people in a Zoom conversation, it turns into a cacophony of indecipherable comments or a series of long, painful silences. It can be useful establish a rigid code of conduct: for example, the host first tells everyone what he has been up to, then passes the conversation to a person of his choice to provide his own life update; that person chooses the next one, and so on, until everyone has told everyone else that they haven’t been doing anything for the past nine months.
Prepare a story
Given our collective boredom, it can be helpful to discuss something other than yourself. At Thanksgiving, I drew quite a bit of the story of Gerald, the killer turkey from Oakland, telling the story in every Zoom conversation as if I just remembered it. You may also have a controversial animal in your neighborhood, or maybe you’ve read something funny on the news, or maybe you’re living vicariously on Love Island and can update people on that. And if you really have nothing to do …
Invite someone from Taiwan or New Zealand
Bring a dog
Most dogs are unaware of the pandemic and can bring a joyful mood to your Zoom chat, acting as a useful conversation piece and providing free entertainment.
When the going gets tough, let the conversation flow freely
Eventually, you’ll start to run out of uncontroversial topics like the weather and the last time you got your hair cut. But There is an advantage in Zoom Christmas: the mute button. Now you can immerse yourself in conversations about politics or acknowledge that the coronavirus is real without worrying about your conspiracy theorist aunt being in court – just make sure she’s not the host.
You may be familiar with the archaic carol-based bacchanal known as wassailing, as described in the musical threat We Wish You a Merry Christmas (“We won’t go until we have some”). This year, the songs will sound even less angelic, but you’ll discover how John Cage could have arranged Jingle Bells, with each of your cousins several beats before the next while your great-aunt and uncle complain loudly that they can. I see you but I can’t hear you. Another key part of wassailing is binge drinking, which likely has numerous benefits during longer Zoom conversations.
You have something urgent to do an hour after the conversation starts
Escaping conversations in the Covid era is challenging. You cannot say, “Well, I have to run” when you are already home and have nowhere to go, and your family members are in the same situation. If everyone is polite, the conversation may never end. I have found it helpful to plan something firm, like a rush cooking or supposed conversation with the other side of the family, for about 60 minutes after a digital gathering starts, or when your eyes start to melt, whichever comes first.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.