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There’s no mute button in the real world – Daily News

I don’t know about you, but things in my life have been getting back to normal lately. More dinners out with friends, movies in an actual movie theater and in-person meetings with clients and colleagues.

And maybe you are seeing some of the behavior I’m seeing. Whether you’re back to meeting with co-workers, friends you volunteer with, industry partners, trivia night or getting out for a glass of wine with a bunch of strangers, let’s try to remember the basic rules for social gatherings.

Zoom became such a norm for most of us over the last 18 months, we got used to working in the privacy and comfort of our own homes. Wearing pajama bottoms and fuzzy slippers under our desk when the Zoom view only shows you from the waist up doesn’t work in an in-person setting, even if the tablecloth covers up your legs.

When you are going out in person to look at homes you may want to purchase, your agent may look past your wardrobe choice. But just keep in mind you may run into other buyers, other agents and perhaps even the sellers.

You can’t hide the fact that you are multi-tasking as easily when you are back in person. Carrying around your cell phone, tablet or laptop can be normal if you are keeping notes, reading listing details or comparing potential payments on your complicated spreadsheet. But if you are gaming, texting or watching whatever’s steaming, you may miss a lot of what’s going on around you in real time, right in front of you.

Getting up whenever you feel the need to get something to eat, go to the bathroom or refill your water glass may not be appropriate in a group setting. Take a read on the room and the speaker before you interrupt the whole audience by doing your own thing on your own timeline. Again, there is no way to turn your camera off when you are back in a live setting. Everyone can see you.

You can’t keep yourself on mute when you are in person. Gone are the days when you can say anything you want to out loud and no one else in the meeting can hear you. Please think before you speak when you are back in person or you may find yourself asking, “Did I just say that out loud?”

And be aware of your surroundings. If there is a speaker addressing your group, don’t answer the phone (which should be on silent, by the way) and start a conversation. Reacting to a meme, group text, TicTok video or Instagram post with outrageous laughter and colorful language is not appropriate in a live setting. Again, there is no mute setting when you are not on Zoom.

Remember how to behave, how to be polite and how to be respectful when we are back together.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with RealtyOne Group West and a member of the California Association of Realtors’ board of directors. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or leslie@leslieeskildsen.com.

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