Junior Julie Litz was trying to concentrate through her morning ECON 207 Zoom class when she received a strange private message from another student in the class. Litz agreed to share the screenshot of the message with the Campus Times on the condition that the CT blocked out the name of the student who shared it with her.
She shared the screenshot with her friends on both her Instagram story and her public blog, without blocking out the name of the student. When asked about why she wanted the name concealed in the article, Litz described that “it felt different somehow.” (Author’s Note: Is it though?)
Private message with obviously-Googled economics pick-up lines
Litz is not alone in receiving these interruptions to regularly scheduled Zoom programming. Students have been noticing a rise in “Zoom Hook-Up” culture activities since the announcement of online classes for the beginning of the spring semester.
Students have reported receiving private messages like these during lectures, labs, recitations, and even instructor office hours. Some students have found Zoom link invitations in their Instagram DMs and UR email inboxes with messages such as: “Meet me at our spot… [winky face],” “Lofi Hip Hop Beats to ‘Study’ to,” and “Ever Better Memes for a Smexy Meliora Teen.”
Sophomore Tim Der was falling asleep in PSY 201: How to Diagnose Yourself when he received a message from a student asking him: “Join My Breakout Room Tonight at 11pm ;).” Unlike Litz, Der attended the meeting. “It wasn’t like I was going to do my homework before the hour before it was due, and I had nothing better to do than watch the cannibal episode of Criminal Minds for the 12th time this week,” Der said.
When Der joined the Zoom room, he found his little rectangle next to a darkened room with only a peppermint candle and string lights in frame. He did not see anyone present in the room, but could hear that version of “Hit Different” by SZA where it’s altered to sound like you’re in the bathroom at a party via the share sound option. All of the sudden, a figure walked into the room, wearing an oversized Nike sweatshirt with the hood up. Der couldn’t see the face at first, but stayed quiet as the figure walked towards the camera. After one minute of heaving breathing from said figure, they pulled down the hoodie to reveal them wearing a Spider-Man mask, asking, “Wanna be the Gwen Stacy to my Andrew Garfield Spider-Man?”
Der did not provide details on what happened next. Thank god classes will be in person on Jan. 31 so we can all go back to good old random frat party hookups (and then ignoring said hookups for the next two weeks despite seeing them everywhere on campus).