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September 2020

Seven Deadly Sins of Zoom Classes

  1. Flushing a toilet unmuted. If it could disrupt the Supreme Court, it can sure as hell disrupt your clumsily maintained Zoom classroom. Normally you’d ask your professor to use the bathroom, but if you flush your toilet unmuted, you bypass that permission altogether. Now your teacher isn’t thinking “how long did you actually spend in the bathroom?” anymore, they’re thinking “Do you even give a shit?” Which, clearly you just did. Indeed, in this scenario, shit has hit the fan.
  2. Forgetting you’re unmuted while talking to your roommate. The professor either slaps the “mute all participants” button or shyly asks, “Sorry what was your question?” even though it was clearly a question of what white claw flavor to get and not about the lecture. And don’t even get me started on being unmuted while either typing on your computer or shuffling things around – ah yes, nothing like the fresh sound of your untrimmed nails tapping away right before my lecture on mitochondria and cell reproduction.
  3. Changing your name to “[whatever your first initial is].money.” You know your professor doesn’t have to memorize your name during Zoom classrooms, so they’re probably looking extra hard at your name field. And the look of confusion and slight disappointment on your professor’s name as they read your name out loud says it all.
  4. Pinning someone’s video. Hey I get it. There’s that one cute person you wanna get a better look at, someone has an interesting background, you want to pay attention to the professor, or you’re just straight up bored. But there’s nothing more nerve-racking than pinning someone and seeing their eyes move as if they just got a notification about it. Is there one? Does Zoom even have the technology to detect that? Am I the only crazy person that pins random people? We may never know but I’m sure as hell not taking that risk again.
  5. Changing your virtual background to a non-topical meme. Listen, memes die much quicker nowadays, so unless your background photo is very clear to everyone else, there’s a good chance that everyone will be confused by what you’re trying to do. I once had to explain why I had my background set to the savage patrick meme other than “uhh, i just laughed at it?”
  6. Drawing on the screen using your computer mouse. We knew you weren’t an artist to begin with, but damn, I can’t even make out what you just scratched onto my laptop. Either you’re drawing a Venn Diagram with an arrow pointing to it or that’s a giant dick. Plus, chances are the host made annotation names visible so you’re fucked either way.
  7. Changing your name to “Reconnecting..” and turning your camera off. Look, I know playing with Zoom settings sounds cool and quirky, but the shame (and deep sadness) you feel after no one notices and you change your name back is not worth it. Trust me.

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