18 months through the pandemic and people still can’t stop yelling on Zoom

I don’t know what it was about the days of analog telephones, perhaps it was the instant audio feedback, perhaps I’m just remembering wrong, but people didn’t scream at the top of their freaking lungs or try and talk to someone a good 20 feet away when their laptop is three feet from their face.

Literally the only reason I have longed for in-person meetings this past year and a half (besides bagels,) is for people to stop yelling into their garbage tinny microphones.

It’s not just Zoom, it’s WebEx, Teams, not sure about Meet I’m sure it’s vastly superior and will be renamed by Google shortly and discontinued. It’s not just my vendors, coworkers, and the like. I regularly hear my wife’s meetings. We’ve spawned a whole year of loud talkers because there’s no feedback. Conversations on volume tend to go along the lines of:

Can everyone hear me? OK Barb (who has the volume turned to 2 can’t) HOW ABOUT NOW? GOOD!

No, you go, no, no… you…

The lack of normalized audio output, different destination ambient volumes, people being unable to read lips that are terribly out of sync, audio coming from the lowest bidder, turn meetings into a McDonald’s Drive-Through conversation.

Is there a solution? Yup. Normalized volume output, and a visual indicator that you’re too loud for the microphone would be a good start. Getting the realization that if you double your voice output you’re getting maybe 8% more volume on the other side while totally sounding like a knife to the ear, screaming, making your voice sound terrible, and the other person could probably just turn their volume up so a reasonable conversation could occur.

My lawns, get off of them, and call me on my freaking desk phone.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts