With more people working from and staying at home, virtual meeting programs are more popular than ever.
ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, GoogleDuo, FaceTime.......AHHHH! This technology is awesome, but every once in a while, the meeting or hangout you're in needs to end.
Here are 7 ways to end a virtual meeting:
1. The Hard Stop Interruption
- HOW TO: When you feel an endpoint has been reached, just say you have to go. No need to give a reason. Direct and to the point.
- THE WORDING: Ok, it’s been fun chatting! It was great to see you. I’m gonna go now. Bye!
Be careful, this can come off rude if you interrupt. Allow others to finish their thought, and then HARD STOP.
2. The Techno-Devious
- HOW TO: Pretend the app or program is glitching, or that you can’t hear what the other person is saying. This is the video conference equivalent of the telephone call standby “Whattt, you’re breaking up!”
- THE WORDING: Hey, hello? Are you there? Oh no, you’re frozen. I’m sorry. I think my app is glitching. Ok, I’m gonna go, bye. [Then, of course, send a follow up text: Sorry about that! Stupid internet connection. So good chatting.
Just don't use this every time, people will become suspicious.
3. The Passive Aggressive: Let Your Device DIE
- HOW TO: Don’t charge your laptop or phone before a call. Then, if you see that your juice is getting low, and you think you’ll be ready to end the conversation in the next few minutes, just let that baby burn down to nothing.
- THE WORDING: N/A, except you might want to send a text after. “Oh No, I’m so sorry my phone/laptop died!”
This can be tough, you have to commit. No posting or liking things on social media for quite a while.
4. The Irish Goodbye
- HOW TO: Literally just hit the escape button and end the hang. This works better in group hangs than one-on-one.
- THE WORDING: Literally none.
If you are prone to disappearing from parties in real-life, this may work well for you online too. If you don't, be prepared for follow up texts.
5. The Lie
- HOW TO: Say you’ve got to go for whatever made up reason. A good one is that you have another Zoom call scheduled.
- THE WORDING: Hey, I’ve gotta run. I’ve got another Zoom scheduled. I know, so lame that this is our life. Anyway, great seeing you!
I’m not saying I’ve done this, but you can always say that you have to leave to join another Zoom group chat. That way you look popular when you’re really just leaving to watch Netflix.
6. The Tech Fatigued
- HOW TO: This is the "it’s not you, it’s me" of hangups. Since so many of us are likely spending all day looking at a screen for work, the fact that we have to rely on screens for our social lives and entertainment, too, is exhausting. It’s understandable that you and your poor eyes would need a break from the 2D world.
- THE WORDING: “Okay, I think I’m gonna make myself dinner and read. What’s something nice you’re gonna do for yourself when we hang up?” OR Alright, I need to not look at a screen for a bit, so I’m gonna go. So good to see you but I think I’m gonna go craft.
***WARNING: This probably won't go over well for work meetings, especially with your boss in attendance. This is more for friends.
7. The Strategic Schedule
- HOW TO: Schedule your virtual hangs for a time when you know you have a hard stop, such as for another call or commitment. Or plan in advance for someone else to give you an “out” by calling you at a certain time.
- THE WORDING: Hey, I’ve got another Zoom hang / Hey, I want to tune in to this LiveStream that starts in two minutes. / Oh hey, my mom is calling me. I’ve gotta go, nice chatting!
Don't double-book your meetings, give yourself a 30 minute buffer, but tell people you have one scheduled back-to-back.