Okay, Zoomer: Types of people you’ll find in your online classes

(FILE) Close-up illustration of a young woman lying on the bed in front of a laptop.
Anna Sapozhnikov/File

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In the past couple weeks, UC Berkeley moved classes online for the rest of the semester, resulting in a new type of learning experience for everyone involved: Zoom. Participating in classes via what is essentially a large group FaceTime call opens up a whole new world of possibilities — virtual backgrounds, interesting locations and class group chats, to name a few. We at the Clog have noticed a few general categories of people emerge on these group calls, which we have outlined below.

The virtual background lover

Throughout the course of a one-hour lecture, you can find this student on a beach, in the mountains, in front of a cat meme and among a picture of themselves. The virtual background lover seems so focused on finding the perfect background that we’d be impressed if they heard a single word the professor said.

The studious student

The one person who turns their camera on without fail, asks multiple questions and looks put together (as if they didn’t just roll out of bed) is the true studious student. It’s important not to let yourself be fooled by this, however — for all we know, they may be wearing their pajama bottoms.

The group-chatter

This student was probably one of the chattiest people in an in-person lecture, but you didn’t notice them until they started blowing up the group chat on Zoom. Now starved of social contact, they even try to organize a separate group chat on Facebook Messenger using the Zoom chat. After they ask who else has yet to start the assignment that’s due tomorrow, it becomes clear that they may or may not know that the professor can see everything they say (if this is you, please know that the professor sees it all).

The ghost student

This is the one student you never see. They’re on every call but have yet to be seen or heard, even when the professor asks everyone to turn their video camera on. Who knows if they’re actually there? We’ll probably never figure it out.

Lost in space

This “Zoomer” is so completely spaced out that they don’t realize they have their camera and/or microphone turned on. The whole class might be watching their solo dance party, listening to them talk about what they’re going to eat for lunch or watching them chow down on their lunch, but they’ll never know. We have to thank them for keeping it entertaining.

This is not a comprehensive list in the slightest, but rather just the few types of people that have stood out to us in the first week of online classes. We look forward to seeing the new types of “Zoomers” that emerge in the weeks to come!

Contact Beatrice Aronson at [email protected].