Virtually Everything Except Being There – Your Merry Guide to a Zoom-y Christmas Season


So your Thanksgiving did not go as well as planned. Holiday season is fast approaching and just like everything else this year, it’s going to be very, very different. Governor Cuomo had said that Thanksgiving should be virtual this year, which might have been a blessing and a curse. Thanksgiving hopefully remained the same in a lot of ways: good food, awkward questions about school, ignoring politics, and awful relatives. With this new way of doing things, there will be a new set of rules we have to follow for polite conversation, and for those of us with terrible social skills, this is going to be more difficult than normal.

If your virtual Thanksgiving didn’t live up to your expectations, we are here to help! So to help you get through your virtual family gatherings here are some simple rules to abide by:

Rule one: Keep your microphone off if you’re not talking. All that annoying background noise gets distracting and can ruin a good conversation. Also, it’s hard to tell when someone is going to start talking, so it’s better to be polite and wait until his or her microphone is off. Make sure your mic is off if you’re talking to someone in your house, especially if you’re talking about someone else. This also a great way to avoid talking at all, as you can just write what you want to say in the chat.

Rule two: Stay out of politics! This is always a good rule if you and your family have different political views. Don’t talk about the election. If one of your uncles starts talking about conspiracy theories without a shred of evidence, don’t argue. Just smile and nod your head. You can scream in your head though, as that is completely understandable.

Rule three: Have your camera on. You probably haven’t seen your family in months and they haven’t seen you. Even if you don’t want to talk to anyone, you can still be there and almost completely not be there. You can eat your food and ignore what’s happening on the screen. And anyway, it will be nice to see the rest of your family, especially your grandparents, as you probably haven’t seen them in months.

Rule four: If you don’t know what to talk about, ask other people questions. Ask about work, school, or family. Most people love to talk about themselves or their children. You can stop people from talking about something that is steering into dangerous territory by just asking questions about something completely different.

Even though our holiday season is completely different, we might still be seeing our families. Whether or not that’s a good thing for you, we can hopefully enjoy good food and not going to school. But remember, you can love someone from afar.