Anti-video chat manifesto

Today, we are the ones who have turned off our video cameras, and they will stay


On Zoom — NO!
On Microsoft Teams — NO!
On GoToMeeting — NO!
On Jitsi — NO!
On Skype — NO!
On Google Meet — NO!

Comrades, the time has come. We learn from each other’s voices, not each other’s disembodied faces on a flat panel monitor or greasy mobile screen.

DOWN with the tyranny of the lipstick and hairbrush ever beside the computer, to adjust your looks to fit expectations of looking “professional”
DOWN with the adjustment of lighting, tweaking of backgrounds, and endless futzing to look professional, normal, composed, and in a serene environment
DOWN with not knowing where to put your eyes and then recalling you need to gaze at the camera, the dead eye in your laptop lid

WE REFUSE to fake living in an IKEA showroom with recently-coiffed hair!
WE REFUSE to download cutesy backgrounds which take up all our CPU!
WE REFUSE to fake human presence.

Let’s not forget my comrades, WE MUST QUESTION who is also present on these calls?

Hello NSA Hello FiveEyes Hello China Hello hacker who lives downstairs Hello University IT Department Hello random person joining the call

Hello, are you there?
Hello, oh uh, I can’t see you?


Here is my voice: Listen. It is full of unquantifiable information. It is human, soft, real.
If you listen close, you will learn more about me than you think possible.
Close your eyes and take it in.
So no, no video today. Or tomorrow.
You’ll remember what I look like, when we meet again.