Zoom has become the great meetinghouse of our society during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to our Zoom seminars and lectures, we have attended Zoom orientation, Zoom fitness classes, Zoom weddings, Zoom birthday parties, Zoom doctors’ appointments, the list goes on.

More often than not, though, we join these gatherings and are faced with a wall of muted blank boxes—a smattering of names and pronouns with maybe a face here and there. This week, we at the Nassau Weekly asked our community members:

“Why is your camera off?”

  1. I’m taking a step back to do the work 
  2. My cat has climbed atop my keyboard and perfectly aligned her asshole with my webcam
  3. My five-hour risotto is the perfect level of creamy—gotta eat it right off the stovetop while it’s hot
  4. I am undercover for the KGB
  5. The service in my submarine is terrible
  6.  Goth gf tied my leash to the radiator
  7.  I’m taking a shower
  8. Scared of my own reflection
  9. My entire wall is photos of Dean Dolan
  10. Completing a dark ritual to save my grade in the class
  11. I’m running a marathon and the sweat broke my camera
  12. The cast of Cats is in my room. 
  13.  Eisgruber just offered me a beer and I have to turn around and tell him no thanks, I’m trying to learn about the Thirty Years War
  14. I’m trapped in the belly of the Whitman Whale
  15. I am pissing on the JFK bricks in 1939 hall
  16. I take my classes from my Samsung Smart Fridge
  17. I am actually 1000 monkeys at 1000 typewriters
  18. Lori Laughlin takes my classes for me
  19. I’m trapped in Joe Biden’s election bunker
  20. Cuz I’m out in the club, and I’m sippin’ that bub and you’re not gonna reach my telephone
  21.  Soyboy bf is tied to my radiator 
  22.  McCovid
  23. All the mosquitoes in Washington D.C. are trying to fuck me. They come to my window offering roses, money, trinkets to convey their affection. How do you explain to a twelve person seminar that the cloud of bugs in the window are not a hygienic problem or a joke. The mosquitoes just want to have sex with me, it’s that simple. 
  24. Vampire face doesn’t show up on video.
  25. Incredibly back-lit so it looks like I have no facial features
  26. I’m brushing my teeth because my breath is horrible
  27. My breath is so steamy it fogs up the camera.
  28. I scaled Nassau Hall ten minutes before class and am now too exhausted to either get down or participate
  29. I’m listening to ambient music in the dark by myself and I’m fine
  30. I’m tinting my mom’s eyebrows.
  31. I’m giving myself a bowl cut
  32. I’m not tryna pull a Jeffrey Toobin
  33. i just dont want to im depressed
  34. I’m yelling random numbers out my window whenever a golfer shouts “Fore!” and hiding so they don’t figure out which window is screwing up their hits.
  35. I’m cleaning up the glass from my broken window because one of the golfers figured out it was me
  36. I didn’t have enough time to change out of my fursuit before class 
  37. I got a haircut that makes me look even more racially ambiguous than i already do
  38. Jennifer
  39. I’m not doing ANYTHING cool or interesting and I wish I was because I want people to talk about me after the call, so instead I turn off my camera to be mysterious and hope they assume I’m engaged in delightfully eccentric and subversive acts behind my stock photo profile picture.
  40. Aioli all over my keyboard 
  41. I’m Anscombe sitting in on a GSS class
  42. Traumatized by the fact that everyone else sees my face inverted
  43. I am profusely bleeding after slamming my face into my desk 15 times as a result of reading that tweet about how people under 5’7” are minor coded.
  44. I’m mastering the “Bet On It” choreo
  45. My python is molting and I need to hold the skin
  46. I’m wiping out Tomato Town
  47. I’m simultaneously attending my Tamagotchi’s college graduation (University of Vermont)