Eliza Brooke for OneZero

An Illustrated Guide to Zoom Waves

Eliza Brooke
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We’ve picked up all kinds of new skills since the start of the pandemic, whether by necessity or out of an abundance of free time. Some people got really good at sewing face masks. Others taught themselves to make sourdough. Some tried learning a new language; certain fans of The Queen’s Gambit found themselves obsessed with chess. Here’s what nobody has figured out yet: How to wave goodbye on Zoom without looking and feeling incredibly awkward.

What is it about Zoom goodbyes that makes a person want to throw their internet modem into the sea? Maybe it’s the heightened awareness that you’re trying to perform human warmth at an impassive laptop camera. Maybe the space between saying a cheery goodbye and finding the “End” button leaves you feeling exposed. Maybe you just don’t know what to do with your hands.

There are a thousand ways to wave goodbye on Zoom, few of them as professional and collected as you might hope. Here are some of our favorites.

1. The “sudden rush of enthusiasm because the meeting is over”

Looks like someone got a second wind.

2. The “determined to keep smiling until you’re sure the camera is off”

Why does it always take so long to find the “End” button?

3. The “went to ‘check on something’ and never returned”

We’re going to assume she’s fine.

4. The “has to pee so badly”

Behold the Pavlovian connection between the end of a meeting and the urge to

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Eliza Brooke
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Eliza is a freelance journalist. She lives in Brooklyn.