By Aisha Jaffar
With the long-dreaded virtual school year beginning and the inferior video calling software Skype no longer being used by anyone, students are using Zoom to attend classes online.
In the winter semester, every class had a prankster or a professor trying to prove they’re tech savvy by using a custom background—a cool feature that Skype, a very bad video calling software, does not have. But behind the fluffy puppies, vacation spots and garbage memes lies something more nefarious (and no, it’s not Skype 2.0: The Empire Skypes Back).
As more and more students have started using these custom backgrounds, it begs the question: What could they be hiding behind them?
A Portal to Narnia?
This probably isn’t possible, but if you do have a portal to Narnia, please share it. It would be nice to travel again without having to get tested and then quarantining.
An annoying sibling?
If you have siblings, you either have an annoying sibling, or you are the annoying sibling (especially if you’re the youngest). Symptoms of an annoying sibling include, but are not limited to: interrupted Zoom calls, loss of time, loss of energy, loss of hair and loss of the last slice of pizza you were saving.
A shrine dedicated to Timothée Chalamet?
Though he kinda looks like the lovechild of Harry Styles and a cheese string, it’s not uncommon for someone to have at least seven pictures of his face on their wall—each from different angles—positioned to fit his exact height as if he were standing right next to them. You could plan your wedding and see if you’ll be at the perfect height standing on your tippy toes to kiss him and all your photos will turn out so nice and think about how beautiful your children would be.
A shrine dedicated to Twilight?
To the person who is clearly stuck in 2008, stay there. Things only go downhill. Stay in your room, which has a Breaking Dawn poster with your face photoshopped onto Bella’s and a bookshelf dedicated to the series, with Midnight Sun squeezed precariously after the Unofficial Guide To Dating a Vampire (The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner sits in the recycling bin where it belongs). Remember when life’s greatest crisis was Team Edward vs. Team Jacob?
An evil lair?
In 2020 it isn’t unreasonable to assume that one of your classmates may be a supervillain. Maybe they’re hiding the greatest criminal operation in the tri-state area, maybe their arch nemesis is a platypus in a small hat. Doobie doobie dooba, as they say.
A lockdown bunker?
Let’s face it, at the start of lockdown, we all saw somebody at the grocery store panic-buying. Behind this person’s galaxy Zoom background is an entire shelf of sanitizers and wipes, another shelf full of N95 masks and water bottles. To top it all off, a bed made of Charmin ultra-soft cushy for your tushy toilet paper rolls, not that one-ply-tear-your-ass type shit.
An unmade bed? Or an unsolved Rubik’s cube?
While this is more sad than nefarious, more than likely there’s one person hiding the mess that their bed (life) is. It’s okay to hide your “failures” behind that custom background. Maybe you’re a little behind on laundry. Maybe you have 37 water glasses under your bed. Maybe you just can’t stand looking at that unsolved Rubik’s cube (life hack: It comes solved, keep it that way). We understand though, those cubes can be really confusing.
A very unique fairy light photo wall?
I throw shade, but I want one too. Embarrassed by how ~original~ your Pinterest-inspired photo and lights wall is? Or maybe you just don’t want to remind yourself that once upon a time, you could go out, drink copious amounts of alcohol and channel all your energy into standing still for that perfect Polaroid shot. Life was fun when we could socialize!
A room full of Bath and Body Works candles?
There is definitely at least one person at Ryerson who has way too many Bath and Body Works candles. We can smell you through the webcam. You smell like pumpkin vanilla ocean breeze fresh woodland wet dog aroma.
A room full of cats?
Cat owners, you probably have cat hair and kitty litter everywhere. But at least with virtual lectures, you can stay home with your pets all day. Isn’t that great? Your dog may not be able to eat your homework anymore (unless it has a taste for laptops), but your cat might knock your computer off your desk in its search for cuddles. Maybe that’s a valid excuse for an extension on an assignment?
Can’t even be bothered to turn your camera on?
We respect your privacy.
Disclaimer: This article is totally not sponsored by Zoom.