It’s the reason I go to therapy. It’s the reason I drink. It’s the reason I can’t sleep at night—I wake up sweating and shaking, I look at the clock: only eight more hours until I have to Zoom again.
What if I accidentally join a Zoom class too early and it’s just me and the professor, staring into each other’s eyes trying to make small talk?
What if someone forgets to mute their microphone and I have to sit there, staring at a 11 x 17 image of someone shoveling cereal into their mouths?
Zoom meetings are used for everything from Harvard Law classes to Margarita Mondays—but don’t worry—I’ve never been invited to either of these things. Whether it be used to teach constitutional law or to gossip with your friends and family, Zoom calls of all types have collapsed into complete anarchy; teachers wearing pajamas, students drinking beers and parents dropping in to say hello. No one knows how to act in this lawless era or remote communicating.
But I’ve had enough of these egregious misdoings. It’s time these crimes are addressed and I will be the judge, jury and executioner. Here are a few of the biggest Zoom no-no’s I’ve come across since remote learning began at the University of Oregon.
COUNT ONE: INTRODUCTIONS
Infraction: “How is everyone doing today?”
There are two major problems with asking “How is everyone doing today?,” every single class. First of all, I think you know how everyone is doing. We are living during a pandemic and baking bread is the only thing keeping the majority of this country from having a mental break. Secondly, this question either results in an awkward silence or the logistical nightmare of 10 people attempting to answer at the same time. Let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to the point. The quicker this is over the faster I can get back to doing nothing.
COUNT TWO: PETS
Infraction: “Do you guys want to see my dog?”
Do I want to see your dog? I can go on youtube and watch a dog riding a unicycle. Why would I want to see your dog that can’t even look at the camera? Dog’s have gone from man’s best friend to Zoom’s worst nightmare. Mostly they bark during class, or worse, they become show and tell. Regardless, pets have become Zoom’s kryptonite. So please everybody, lock Rover up for class and afterwards you can post as many photos of him on Instagram as you’d like.
COUNT THREE: THE MUTE BUTTON
One of Zoom’s many unfortunate features is that everytime a new person makes a sound, that person takes over the main, enlarged screen. You are one sneeze away from an enlarged image of yourself blowing their nose appearing before the class. Muting your microphone at all times except for when you want to talk might seem like the obvious solution to this. However, in a world where we have to explain to people why they shouldn’t drink bleach, it appears that nothing is obvious.
COUNT FOUR: GOODBYES
Infraction: “That’s all we’ve got for today. Any last comments?”
No matter how smoothly it went before, complete chaos transpires at the end of every meeting. Microphones become unmuted, dogs start barking and the small talk commences. One second my science professor is asking if we have any last questions and next thing I know, we’re 30 minutes into him answering what his favorite food is. People, if I enjoyed learning online, I would currently be a junior at the University of Phoenix. For those of you that like to turn the end of class into virtual social hour, please use the app Omegle for that.