A handy guide to not losing your mind during Zoom meetings



Source: By Allie Smith via Unsplash

Dante Sasso, 807 Editor

During this difficult period, we have had to find ways to adapt to our environments. Some people have taken to learning new skills, while others have started to exercise to increase their mental and physical well being. However, there is one thing that all Union students have in common regardless of location or circumstance: we all have to attend long classes on the online meeting platform known as Zoom. These meetings can feel agonizing depending on the class that you attend, dragging on forever while you stare at a teacher or another student on your screen. Fear not, fellow students! There are certainly ways to pass the time and keep that last bit of sanity that was preventing you from making some drastic, life-altering decision. So, allow me to give you some advice to keep your head in the game this Spring term. 

Most Zoom classes feature a lecture component; your teacher will provide you information that is useful for the class. You should probably listen to this information, but if we’re honest here none of us have an attention span large enough to sit still in our own homes and listen to a teacher talk about the aerodynamics of a cow or whatever. Now, in the past, Zoom pretty much locked you into listening to these lectures and watching the speaker with the
“attendee attention tracker,” which told the teacher/host of the room that you weren’t looking in the Zoom meeting’s window. Thankfully, as of April 2nd, 2020, this feature was removed to protect the privacy of attendees. With this knowledge, you now know you can go nuts by playing a game in the background, watching YouTube, or just reading the news while the speaker continues to talk about the importance of the class. You didn’t need the credit anyway, did you?

Okay so maybe you can’t look away from the class as the teacher requires participation. How can you possibly be entertained now? Your grade depends on this, so you can’t look away. If only someone would come in and interrupt the class! Well, you’re in luck. With the popularity of Zoom increasing during the ongoing pandemic we are facing, people have shown their compassionate nature by not respecting each other’s privacy and bursting into Zoom meetings to cause as much trouble as possible. These “Zoom bombers” are individuals who apparently have literally nothing worthwhile to do in their lives, so they decide to find a random Zoom meeting code and just interrupt it because that’s how bored this pandemic has left people. Though this seems more detrimental than anything, this is actually one of the best possible scenarios for a Zoom meeting you are attending! Give out a meeting code to a Zoom bomber, and watch the magic happen. Want to make it even more fun? Simply whip out that smartphone of yours, and film the entire incident. Watch as your teacher–a master of their subject–struggles to remove the person causing a disruption to the class. Getting all of this on film will be a surefire way to go viral on any social media platform, because we love to watch the misery of other humans for our own enjoyment. 

If all else fails and these Zoom meetings are just staying completely boring, I have one final tip that will absolutely make them work: lie and say you don’t have a good enough internet connection to attend! Most, if not all teachers are recording their lectures and posting them on a website at a later point, so if you want to still do well in the class you can just not show up and watch them whenever you want. With that out of the way, you can get back to binging whatever crappy Netflix original you were watching, because those fake characters are so relatable and make you feel emotions for the first time in that cold, dead heart of yours. If you decide to not show up, just make sure that you at least hand in assignments on time if you plan on passing the course! Or don’t, if you don’t care about your future in this apocalypse we are currently striving to get through. 

I hope that my tips for surviving Zoom meetings help you out. Though they may be unorthodox, they are still guaranteed entertainment for anyone who tries them out. After all, we are creatures with short attention spans! I’m sure that this shortsighted fun will have absolutely no consequences on the future of your life and ability to get a career that you enjoy. Nope, these entertaining tactics will surely be good fun without a single detrimental attribute. I thank you for your time dear reader, but I must go now; I need to finish watching The Haunting of Hill House because I have literally nothing left in my life that satisfies me aside from the suffering of people due to a ghost spouse.