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Things We Saw Today: The New York Times Is Wrong, Everyone Wants to See Your Pet on Video Conferences

And Your Cat. And Your Kid.

Listen, there’s a lot of bad information and advice going around about coronavirus, but one article we saw today had some of the worst. The New York Times (yes, the paper so fancy it has its own font) opines that having your pet or kid pop up in a video conference/meeting is a no-no. It’s, I guess, “unprofessional” or whatever. Ummm, no. The only problem with pets on video conferences is that there are not enough of them.

Who doesn’t want more meetings that go like this famous interview:

The article is about the general Dos and Don’ts of video meetings on platforms like Zoom. And some of the recommendations are good: check your mic, camera, and internet connection before you join the meeting; set an agenda. (For the love of all that’s holy, mute your mic if you’re not talking.) But the admonition to keep kids and pets out of the call because it will  “prolong a meeting or derail it altogether” is just wrong.

We all want to see your cute pets and kids and we want to show off our cute pets and kids. I split my knee open carrying my overweight corgi to my office to show to my Mary Sue colleagues last week and it was completely worth it. (They liked saying hi to the kid too I guess). We’re living in stressful dark times, the least we can do is find some joy in kids and animals!

The tweet from The NYT saying “As much as we love your children and pets, we may not want to see them in video calls. Here’s a guide to proper Zoom etiquette” was roundly mocked on twitter, with responses from “no” to more colorful replies and refutations, many of which are not appropriate to reprint.

(Yes, that’s our TMS Editor)

And yes, the offending tweet was deleted after 54 minutes. Whoops. The article was not changed. Our point still stands. We’re all doing our best and it’s fine to not be perfect and professional right now. In fact, it’s actually nice to see some else being human and also get some cute at the same time. We all need it.

There is one thing you shouldn’t do on video calls, however, and that’s go to the bathroom. Just … don’t. Please.

(image: Pexels)

Here are a few slightly less offensive things we saw today.

  • This grad student in Italy found a 5000-year-old sword. I think that makes her queen now. (via CNN)
  • These tweets from the head of security and now social media for The Cowboy Museum are gold. (via BoredPanda)
  • Like many upcoming episodes, the next installments of Supergirl and Batwoman have been postponed by the CW. (via
  • Here’s your afternoon cry:

  • How to play Black spades. (via The Root)
  • Cardi B calls out the confusion of celebs testing positive for coronavirus with no symptom. (via Buzzfeed)
  • In a show of solidarity for social distancing, McDonald’s has separated … the golden arches? What? (via Ad Age)
  • Now Please enjoy this mesmerizing quarantine Rube Goldberg machine.

What did you see today?

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.