Power ranking of things to do in a boring online meeting

photo of laptop open with Zoom
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With pretty much every activity taking place online – from school to extracurriculars to socializing – I’ve been in more than my fair share of boring online meetings. If you haven’t been, you’ll probably be in an online meeting soon enough, so here’s the Clog’s power ranking of things you can do when you’re bored in a virtual meeting.

5. Take a social media break

The most effortless way to get rid of your boredom is to simply open up Instagram and let its algorithm take you on a journey of scrolling and tapping. Not only can you entertain yourself, but you can also somewhat pay attention to your meeting — sometimes. If you’re up for taking a little risk, you can even share a few posts with a friend who is attending the same meeting.

4. Experiment with different Zoom backgrounds

In the era of everything being online, our Zoom backgrounds have become a way of expressing our individuality, in lieu of clothes and accessories. So, it’s worth taking some time to explore different backgrounds and pick one that reflects your personality. Memes (such as the distracted boyfriend meme) are an especially popular option. You can even come up with ideas of your own to work on later. Of course, make sure to keep your camera off while you’re trying on different backgrounds.

3. Reply to emails

It’s easy to put off tasks that make you uncomfortable, even if they take less than a minute to complete. A prime example of such a task is replying to emails. Maybe it’s an invitation to an event you want to turn down. Or maybe it’s a professor or GSI checking in about the status of your missing assignment. It’s easy to just close your inbox and say that you’ll deal with the email later, but that only worsens your anxiety. While decluttering your inbox may not be the most entertaining option, it’s definitely a worthwhile one.

2. Close a few of the million tabs you have open

This is second in our power ranking because of how important it is. One of the cornerstones of digital organization, but also something a lot of us struggle with, is tab management. In fact, this problem is so common that there are quite a few Google Chrome extensions to help you manage your tab clutter – two of my favorites are OneTab and Tab Snooze. So, if you’re looking for a guilt-free way to distract yourself in a boring online meeting, you can take on the challenge of closing some of your tabs.

1. Power through it

Most of the time, it’s probably important that you pay attention in the meeting. You never know when you might be called on to answer a question (especially in a lecture or discussion section) or when someone might mention an important piece of information. So, as anticlimactic as this may be, the best thing you can do when you’re bored in an online meeting is probably just power through it and pay attention anyways.

Whatever you are doing instead of paying attention in your boring online meeting, you can be comforted knowing that you’re probably not the only one.

Contact Vaidehi Bulusu at [email protected].