Why I Don’t Always Have My Camera On


Credit: https://www.contactmapping.com/blog/zoom

Having school online was not the experience I expected nor particularly enjoyed. At the beginning of the year, there was this constant pressure on students to have their cameras on, unmute in class, participate, show up on time, and focus. All these things were expected of us right off the bat. It was overwhelming, and sometimes still is. 

Personally, I have had a mixed relationship with Zoom and Google Meets. I’ve had my reasons on why my camera may be on or off, why I participate, and why I don’t. I don’t write this for validation from my teachers. I write this to share my experience and maybe have someone read this and gain some insight on why their students may not have their camera on. 

I’m the typical teenager that goes to bed late and is forced to wake up early to make it to class on time, and because of that first period was always the class that I never had my camera on. I just never felt comfortable enough  to present myself in front of others knowing I had just woken up. I also struggle with the thought that people are staring at me which distracts me from class and makes it hard for me to grasp the information being presented. In addition to being distracted by these thoughts, I have a bad habit of zoning out and possibly making weird faces. There have been multiple occasions where I have zoned out during class and I’ll rock back and forth. Friends have pointed it out to me and it’s just another thing on the list of things I would rather avoid people seeing. 

If I do have my camera on it’s because other students have theirs on. I’m comfortable with the students if we have met prior to online school or in person this year. I either enjoy the class and it is more engaging to have my camera on, or it makes the teacher feel better and lessens the awkwardness. The last reason is to support a friend who never has their camera on. I’ve convinced a friend to turn on their camera in exchange that I would also have mine on. 

It’s a double-edged sword concerning cameras being on and off during class. But these are just my experiences on why I did or didn’t have my camera on during online classes.