Sorry, I’m just so busy right now: Things to say when you don’t want to video call someone

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With shelter-in-place orders in full effect, seeing our friends and classmates has been defined by FaceTime and Zoom calls. However, as much as we love interacting with other humans on our screens, sometimes you’re just really not in the mood. Unfortunately, with the quarantine, you can’t get away with saying you have somewhere to be or something really pressing to do. So, what does one say when they find themselves in such a predicament? Here’s a nifty list of excuses that you can try the next time someone wants to video call you.

My Wi-Fi is down

With your whole family at home and so many people using the Wi-Fi, internet speed nowadays is just too unreliable — even AirBears would be better.

My laptop is dead

Technical difficulties are no longer far and few when nearly everything we do depends on technology. Maybe you overworked it when you wrote that 20-page research paper yesterday, or maybe it was from that 10-hour gaming session with your buds. Point is, your laptop’s been worked hard and needs some well-deserved recovery time.

I have to help my mom with …

If you’re at home, chances are you’ll be busy. Schoolwork? Nope. From setting the table for dinner and giving your dog a bath, to washing the never-ending stream of dishes and watching the latest episode of her favorite drama together, Mom’s got you running around the house 24/7.

I have to walk my dog

Hey, if you think it’s hard for us people to be stuck inside all day, think of our pets. Some dogs’ bowel movements fully depend on their daily walks — it’s mandatory! And if you don’t have a dog … well, your cat or turtle or hamster could also benefit from a little bit of sunshine. 

I have another Zoom meeting

So, you want to Zoom call? Please send me a bCal invite. You have too many calls going on, often at the same time. For some reason your math office hours, economics discussion and Grandma’s weekly check-in like to take place at the same time. No wonder the Wi-Fi’s crashing!

I’m doing my project … that was due yesterday

Even though we have all this extra time, somehow we’re still behind in classes. But, no matter! You’ve just got to get your homework, project or midterm done before everything piles up. 

I don’t look socially acceptable

Look, it’s been one too many days spent inside with no social obligation to look put-together. Rolling around the house in shorts and an oversized t-shirt has been the go-to look for the past few weeks. But, no worries — this one’s especially understandable because we’ve all been there. And hey, maybe what “looking socially acceptable” means will change when these crazy times are finally over. 

I’m in the bathroom

Nature is taking its course, y’all. Does this one need any further explanation?

I’m cleaning my … 

It’s spring and you have the time, which means it’s time for spring cleaning! Your closet, your room, the bathroom, the kitchen — the list goes on. There are floors to be mopped, bathtubs to be scrubbed, clothes to be organized, windows to be wiped, junk items to be thrown away and so much more. Even if you don’t want to, someone’s bound to make you do it (Mom is a very likely candidate, as noted above). 

My dog is puking up my homework

Here’s a fun twist to the “My dog ate my homework” one. No time to call — someone’s gotta clean up the mess. 

I’m eating with my family 

Being home means a lot of quality time for meals with your family. This means being present and focusing on your food and the people you love without distraction.

I’m playing video games

From Animal Crossing to Call of Duty, there is much to get caught up on in the video game world. Sorry friends, but we take our gaming very seriously.

I’m trying to get my life together in this world-changing pandemic

As the world seemingly descends into chaos and our normal lives are turned upside down, everything feels weirdly apocalyptic yet normal. From canceled internships and canceled study abroad programs, to worrying about the safety of loved ones and worrying about the uncertainty of the future, there’s a lot running through your mind right now. It’s important to take some Zoom-free and technology-free time to yourself to just breathe, reflect, think and plan. Rest assured, you’re doing the best you can!

Sorry, I just can’t right now

If you don’t feel like coming up with a reason why you can’t call, this is a completely fair statement — one could argue that you don’t owe anyone any excuse. 

I … am not feeling it

If all else fails, simply tell the truth! The past few weeks may have been overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes, you just really need a break from everything. Explain that you’re not up for a call right now and reschedule. As the loving beings your pals are, they probably relate to how you’re feeling and will surely understand.

From silly explanations to reasonable ones, from relatable excuses to those that get a bit deep, there’s a whole range of reasons for why one might not be able to make it to the phone (or laptop). The possibilities are truly endless. So, now that you’re well-equipped with this handy list of excuses, go ahead and confidently turn down those video calls!

Contact Kristie Lin at [email protected].