Embarrassing Zoom Moments

Awkward Moments Arise During Remote Learning

During an everyday Zoom call, you are quickly texting some of your friends before you proceed to share your screen for a presentation. Soon after sharing your screen, you realize that instead of sharing your presentation, your recent text messages between you and your friends are broadcast to the entire class. Your friends, catching on to what is happening, make the situation even more uncomfortable by sending embarrassing text messages that get shared with the entire class. You scramble to find your presentation, as the situation is already out of hand.

Junior Bodie Florsheim was left embarrassed and with his teacher unhappy after this incident. 

Throughout the Parker community, students and teachers have experienced many awkward and embarrassing moments through Zoom or Google Meet––whether it is a student or teacher realizing they were on mute when they thought they were talking or accidentally saying something they might have not wanted the entire Zoom call to hear. 

First-grade teacher Tisha Johnson had an experience that many students and teachers can relate to. According to a survey sent out to the middle school, high school and faculty, realizing that they’re on mute while they thought people could hear them is a common mistake made by Parker students and teachers.

I like to say hello to every child and adult on our daily Morning Meeting Google Meet,” Johnson said. “I had just finished saying hello to everyone individually, and one of my assistant teachers told me they couldn’t hear me because I was on mute.”

Some students have experienced embarrassing moments to the extreme. Eighth-grader Krish Malhotra had an unfortunate experience over Zoom when he was unmuted and his parents barged into the room, claiming that he had forgotten to wash the dishes. Embarrassed, he glanced at his classmates to find that they were confused and unsure about what they had just witnessed.

A sixth-grade student that chose to remain anonymous had to use the restroom during class. They assumed the teacher would not call on them at the most unfortunate time, but they assumed incorrectly. The teacher called on them, and before the student had the chance to gather themselves to answer, her teacher unmuted their microphone. The class was greeted with the sound of a flushing toilet. 

Sometimes an embarrassing moment is so shocking to a student that they have to take a break from the class to recover from the unease. Another anonymous sixth-grade student was in a Zoom call for their history class. They thought they were on mute and that their camera was turned off, but in reality, they were wrong. The student began to sing. The teacher of the class, hearing the melody, asked whoever was singing to turn off their microphone. They then unexpectedly said the name of the student who was singing and stated, “I think it was you.” The student, overwhelmed with embarrassment, left the meeting and screamed into their pillow for a total of fifteen minutes. 

An anonymous freshman was focused on their class when suddenly one of their parents walked into the room and poked them with a stuffed animal toy. After the student began uncontrollably laughing, they had to turn their camera off for ten minutes to recover from the embarrassment.

“In a time of social distancing, our background noises, bathrobes, and other bloopers can be unexpected sources of connection,” wrote Naomi Fry, a staff writer for The New Yorker. Fry wrote a piece for the New Yorker specifically focusing on why these embarrassing moments can be a sense of relief from such a structured and digital world. An advantage of having access to a camera and microphone is that students can look at themselves and make sure they look presentable or make sure that no one hears anything they don’t want heard on their end. This potentially takes away the realism of not only school but everyday life that includes physical contact with others. Fry wrote about how embarrassing and awkward moments through Zoom at least bring a sense of reality that schools are missing when communicating through the screen.