Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Mute Button

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I’ll never forget the joking comment my father-in-law made when I was studying for the Florida State Health and Life Test and going for my 215 license.

He said, the only way to shut you up was to lock yourself in a room and put duct tape on your mouth then you can concentrate. As drastic as that may have sounded, he wasn’t totally off base.

But that was before either of us knew anything about Zoom Calls.

Nowadays, as we depend on Zoom Calls. We do them in group and individual settings. There is that button called “Mute.”

I’m involved in lots of networking meetings and it’s commonly used. There is even a button to raise your hand. I’ve gotten familiar with that one.

I go on Miami Marlins Zoom Calls and have gained a lot of content for my broadcasts as I work with fellow media members. We all know that the hosts control “The Mute Button” to make sure everyone participates equally.

During a Wednesday networking event with The Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce, we were placed in individual groups. 

Everyone was talking about different subjects but I couldn’t get a word in.

It wasn’t until the end that Mike Del Pozo asked me to end the session if I had any positive things to say. 

It was then that I finally realized that I inadvertently had the mute button on and used my 40 seconds to say what normally would have taken me a few minutes.

I have to admit that this mute gaffe didn’t seem funny when it happened, but it was a light-hearted teaching moment.

After that session, we had another small group session during that meeting. I quipped about it. It was neat that a few other people could see the humor in a mistake that if we aren’t aware of what we’re doing, this could happen to anyone.

Today, I had so much fun with my gaffe, I talked about it with another networking group and to see them smile was neat.

The moral of the story is that Zoom Calls are going to be a way of life thanks to COVID-19 and I’m fortunate that these networking events were small potatoes compared to what could happen if I were in a virtual classroom or an important seminar and not be able to ask important questions, thus costing me a learning opportunity.

The hosts usually tell you to us mute yourself, but thanks to Del Pozo, I was able to get a few words in.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com.

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