People Get Honest About What's Happening in Their Backgrounds During Zoom Calls

One woman shared that when she appeared on CNN, she was wearing a shirt, no pants, and sandals, and the space was covered in her kids' toys.

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Sep. 18 2020, Updated 1:29 p.m. ET

Zoom is a strange and interesting infusion into our increasingly digital lives. Because so much more is happening over video calls, Zoom has become a world all its own, albeit one that takes place entirely within the purview of a webcam. 

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One woman, an environmental engineer and mom, got radically honest and posted side-by-side pictures of her appearance on CNN and the reality that was happening outside of the Zoom screen (no pants, toys everywhere). Her tweet went totally viral and inspired others to share their Zoom realities too.

Gretchen Goldman looked calm and professional when she was being interviewed on CNN. But just out of frame, the reality of her home lurked. So she decided to share it on Twitter in the spirit of "honesty," and it went totally viral. People appreciated the second picture so much, and soon, many others replied with their similar situations.

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Gema Zamarro was literally interviewed about how hard the pandemic has been on working mothers who've been saddled with most of the childcare and housework on top of their jobs...while there was a pile of Legos mere inches away from her bare feet. Occupational hazard of being a parent.

I don't understand. If I'm on a Zoom call, I have to at least put on sweatpants or something because what if I forget and accidentally stand up?! This is a risk I'm not willing to take.

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Now this is definitely a look. This man could walk outside in this outfit and I would say, "Hey, he's got a style." It's a strange one, sure, but he kind of pulls it off if I'm being honest.

This is totally my speed. Nice blouse up top, pajama pants on the bottom. I think it's time to give up the idea that "professional" clothes are more "professional." We've all been working successfully from home for months in whatever clothes we want. Let's stop pretending suits make us better at our jobs.

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I approve this look. But I'm extending the no-professional-dress look to TV anchors too! Who says they can't do their jobs in t-shirts! #LetNewsAnchorsWearWhatTheyWant

We're all trying to come up with creative ways to get the right angle and right background shot on our Zoom calls. My screen is propped up on a pile of books currently. It's all about using what you got.

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OK but if I were on this man's team, I would 100 percent want to see that precious little kitten nestled in his chest during our meeting. I'm 90 percent calmer just looking at the picture.

Now this, this is a look. Is this man a lifeguard in his spare time? Does he have to wear his trunks and flip flops in case there's a swimming emergency? Will he rip off his suit while he runs down to save drowning people? I need to know all the answers to these questions.

Sometimes, the kids make it into the Zoom calls because they have no where else they can be and no one else to take care of them, and that's OK too! Normalize parents working with their kids around. We're all doing the best we can! 

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