“Zoom” Virtual Backgrounds: The Creative Joy We Need

Zoom users can picture themselves in front of a giant mound of toilet paper

Zoom users can picture themselves in front of a giant mound of toilet paper

Jack Nelson, Staff Writer

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread quarantine, millions have resorted to virtual meetings in order to sustain job operations or further their education. The go-to platform for these interactions has been “Zoom,” a website/app that allows groups to easily meet up by receiving a code and time from a host. Although “Zoom” has proved essential in preventing the loss of brain cells, conferences can often be rather mundane, especially when talking business or listening to a lecture. Many users also worry about their fellow classmates or employees seeing their messy, isolationist rooms, so they seek to present themselves in a more appealing manner. Thanks to people’s creative genius, the easy-to-access features of “Zoom,” and the convenience of the internet, a solution to both problems has been discovered: virtual backgrounds.

“Zoom” users can assemble a variety of backgrounds that portray iconic TV show sets (check out Hayden Startzell’s background on Episode #9 of the “Miles and Danny Show”), hilarious meme formats, aesthetically-pleasing locations, and everything in between. You could put yourself in front of a giant mound of toilet paper to satirize the panicky hoarders of the pandemic. You could reimagine yourself as a character on “The Office” or “Seinfeld.” You could even become the subject of your favorite meme. The options are bountiful, and the only limit is the extent of your imagination. The laughter of other virtual meeting members is sure to follow.

Despite their ridiculous possibilities and zany nature, “Zoom” virtual backgrounds provide us with a resource that is more valuable now than ever before: joy. In these dark times, it can be quite difficult to find humor or happiness when news channels are constantly depressing, in-person socializing outside of your house is unacceptable, and normalcy is hard to come by. The witty musings of people across the world prove that even under such conditions, joy can still be found. It’s made possible by all the good virtues that we have, and although those virtues may have been altered by the outbreak, they certainly still exist. 

In order to more than simply survive this pandemic, we must get radical and employ our creative minds to thrive.  Simple acts like digitally greeting your classmates from your humble abode in Bikini Bottom can be a small yet integral contribution.