Gender & Identity, Humor, Life

10 things you’re definitely guilty of doing on a video call

It's definitely kind of great to be able to have a last minute do-I-have-kale-in-my-teeth check, especially because yes, you definitely do.

Video calling apps such as Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangout have certainly made our lives much easier, maybe in more ways than one. While video calling might help us connect personally and professionally, it also occasionally helps out in the following ways:

1. Using the screen your face appears on as a mirror before the other person signs on.

It’s definitely kind of great to be able to have a last minute do-I-have-kale-in-my-teeth check, especially because yes, you definitely do.

2. Using the screen your face appears on as a mirror during your conversation.

Ain’t nothing wrong with glancing at yourself to make sure your lipstick hasn’t smudged onto your chin. The other person never has to know.

3. Muting the microphone for two and a half seconds to take care of…nature.

Hey, you had a bean burrito for lunch, but your priority is still keeping things professional in this long-distance meeting with your HR team. You gotta do what you gotta do. (Way easier than stepping out into the hallway like you would have to in person.)

4. Not wearing pants.

Or anything, really, below the waist. How are they gonna know?

5. Admiring how the hypnotizing white glow of the computer screen actually makes your skin look flawless.

Who needs the Clinique counter with this kind of supernatural radiance? Gorj, darling.

6. Realizing this same light really makes your mustache stand out more than you’d like.

For those of us who choose to remove our facial hair, this realization fills us with an urgent horror. Get thee to a salon.

7. Zoning out during a conversation, then blaming it on the lag.

Not all chats with distant relatives are as riveting as you might think. Sometimes, you might start thinking about that date you have tonight, and whether to be on time to show that you respect them, or to be just a bit late to show that even though you respect them, you’re a really interesting person with a super busy life that you had to fit them into.

Yeah, that should impress them. And you really want to impress them because you’re already in love with them a little bit–wait, sorry, what were you saying?

Your screen froze.

8. Pretending to take notes during a conference call but really just practicing your signature over and over again.

You’re important enough to be on a video conference call. Clearly, this means your signature must stand up to the task. Should it be legible, or mostly just scrawled lines? Maybe leave the first couple letters legible? Oh, yeah, you’re not even really holding anything to write in your hand; you’re just furrowing your brow and looking down at your keyboard, tilting your head just so.

9. Not being able to hear most of what someone said during a meeting call because they weren’t speaking loudly enough, but pretending you did because you don’t want to be that person.

It’ll be just like missing an episode of Game of Thrones. Sure, you might be slightly lost, but you’ll be able to figure things out eventually from the side characters and seeing who’s alive versus dead. As long as no one’s dead, you’ll be fiiiiine.

10. Browse the internet.

Whether it’s checking your mail or getting some online shopping done, you know you’ve quietly clicked over to a different tab before while the other person is talking. Of course, if the webpage you click on happens to have a darker background color, that magical glow you had earlier disappears.

Be warned.

  • Tasneem Mandviwala

    Tasneem Mandviwala is an Editorial Fellow for The Tempest. She is a doctoral student at the University of Chicago studying the identity trajectories of Muslim American girls and women, has a background in psychology, English literature, and art history. She uses these fields to enhance not only her research but also her visual art, the latter which she pursues simultaneously on the side as inspiration allows.