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Report: Zoom Breakout Rooms Found to be Quieter than Cold Vacuum of Space


Photo by NASA / CC0

Suspicions confirmed! In a new report, Penn researchers have concluded that Zoom breakout rooms are indeed quieter than the boundless, empty vacuum of space.

Sampling a wide variety of breakout rooms from humanities to the sciences, the researchers identified numerous parallels between the quietude of the cosmos and the awkward silence of students thrust into uninteresting and forced discussion with others they barely know.

“In space, no one can hear you scream,” researcher Davide Lloyd mused. “On Zoom, no one can hear you share your thoughts on the assigned reading.”

Employing a host of advanced tactics, the researchers verified that their findings were no fluke. In fact, there appears to be no earthly reward that can motivate students to get off mute, turn their cameras on, and acknowledge the presence of their academic peers.

“We tried saying phrases like ‘hello’ and ‘have you guys looked at the discussion questions yet’, but nothing seemed to shatter the dead silence which permeated the room,” researcher Cassidy Thiel noted. “You might as well be calling out into the uncaring, infinite expanse above.”

In search of answers, UTB reached out to junior Khristine Long, a seasoned Zoomer who spends over five hours in breakout rooms per day. The question: why are breakout rooms quieter than the frigid, interstellar void enveloping our planet, through which sound literally cannot travel?

“It’s virtual prison, man,” Long answered, eyes bloodshot. “I spend half of my waking hours watching physics lecture; do you think I want to make small talk with Brad about what I got for number 3 on the homework? Hell no!”