Ben Borgers


June 23, 2022

Was the original idea of Zoom that you’d spend most of the meeting muted?

The more that I think about it, I think the answer is no. The mute button just existed if you had to step off camera, burp, or your kid walked into the room.

But when we used Zoom to go to school over Covid, the message was clear: you are to be muted when not speaking.

That makes a lot of sense — you don’t want a whole room of noises while you’re trying to listen to one poor kid explain their math problem solution.

Plus, now I feel safe when I’m muted. It almost creates a sense of detachment, like I can do whatever I want in this world and it won’t affect that world. Even more so when my camera’s off, but that’s another story.

But now, at my job, people often just stay unmuted during our short meetings. They haven’t had it trained into them that they need to mute.

It feels almost dangerous to me. Like what if you accidentally drop something and make a loud noise! But then again, nothing’s stopping you from making an accidental loud noise in real life. It’s fine.

For some reason, it still feels weird for me to stay unmuted during meetings. Covid school’s habits still linger.