The seven Zoom personalities in every UoB seminar

If you don’t know any, you’re one of them

With the start of a new semester and probable online teaching for the unforeseeable future, we are all once again facing the dreaded Zoom seminar.

From sitting silently in the waiting room, to the subsequent awkward silence of everyone’s laptops connecting, to scrambling for the ‘Leave Meeting’ button at the end of the seminar, there really is nothing quite like it.

Here are the seven Zoom personalities you are sure to have encountered in your UoB Zoom seminar.

The Pet Lover

Dogs, cats, rabbits, (younger siblings?) – all these wild beasts will be interrupting your seminar with their raucous presence. And the pet-lover, rather than quietly putting them down just sits there and accepts their fate.

Mogg has decided the keyboard is her new bed, which is OK. Yes, Buster, you can eat my notepad – I don’t like unlined anyway.

Their commitment to their pets is commendable if not somewhat concerning. At this point, I’ve seen so many cats’ butts I feel like I’m a qualified vet – which is now career plan B.

The Indie One

This person rocks up to every Zoom seminar eager to establish their edgy vibe. The oversized vintage jumper (from Urban), the hundred rings rendering their fingers immobile (from Urban), the gingham headscarf (from Urban) and of course, the holy grail of all basic Indie gals, the tapestry.

Some flowers, maybe Buddha, definitely elephants. They either got it on their gap yah or from Depop.

And then there’s the fairy lights which absolutely do need to be on at one in the afternoon – this is Birmingham, have you seen the cloud coverage?

The Late Riser

This person didn’t really show up to seminars before the pandemic, but now they just about make it – albeit, in their pjs, still in bed and with the lights off.

They didn’t set their alarm until five minutes before the seminar started, and they will probably doze off again at some point before it’s over.

It doesn’t matter whether your seminar is first thing in the morning or one in the afternoon, the late-riser will always be dressed in their duvet with an atrocious bed head.

The Wanderer

There honestly seems no point in this person coming to the seminar at all because they will undoubtedly spend the entire time doing laps around their bedroom.

You spend most of your time looking at their chair, and they will occasionally grace the group with their presence for a fleeting few minutes before they get their next snack or go for their next toilet break.

I’m not even sure if its better to just leave your camera off at this point…

The one whose camera is always “broken”

We’re half way through the academic year now…and your camera is still broken. I mean, I don’t work at Currys but I’m getting the vibe your camera isn’t really broken – your work ethic is…

The broken-camera-kids make up at least 50% of any Zoom meeting, at least 99% of any 9am because they’re still half asleep.

Their unspeaking black screens are a haunting presence and make those with our cameras on feel all the more awkward.

The Distracted One

This person is always around, but not really *around*. Instead of turning their camera off and pretending their wifi cut out or simply leaving their camera off altogether, this person shamelessly talks to their housemates, listens to music, and reads their book all the while you’re in the seminar.

Part of you envies their total chill attitude and you’re constantly distracted by this person’s non-seminar related activities.

The Snacker

There is nothing more frustrating than the sound of people eating; the rage is undeniable. So, when some snacked-up kid shows up to their Zoom seminar and starts eating every item in the food pyramid, they instantly become the most annoying person in the seminar.

From crisps (always crisps), popcorn, cereal, to someone once showing up with some ramen (big up Yakinori) – please, I beg, eat any time other than this mere 50 minute slot which is ALL my education. Not to mention I am now starving.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Cadbury’s Dairy Milk production is returning to Birmingham with a £15 million investment

• Here are all the UoB committees helping students with rent strikes

• All the joys of living in Selly right now