There comes a time when even the best of us have to adjust the brightness on our computer screens, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel like a total pervert hiding nefarious things while doing so. It’s not a crime to turn your brightness down in a crowded coffee shop, so here are some tips to make it not feel like one.
Loudly say, “It sure is dark in here, huh?”
Set the scene! Create tension! This method works best if you say it a few minutes before you need to change your brightness, because it’ll give the perfect corroborated excuse. You’re not turning the brightness down on a whim because you need to google something weird like “Zoloft-molly interaction okay?” or “How find porn ethical” – you’re just a normal person reacting to changing conditions in their environment. Do this right and maybe the person next to you will turn their brightness down, too! Wait, that’s weird — What don’t they want me to see?
Do a classic “yawn and turn.”
You’ve likely already heard of this method, but there’s no harm in a refresher. When you’re about to turn your brightness down, first feign a yawn, stretch, and do a slow 360 turn with your computer (as yawning people often do) just to show everyone in your vicinity that there’s no funny business going on. Your screen is simply too bright! You would never dream of searching, “Zoloft molly interaction two days in a row constipation?”
Outsource your brightness changes.
Avoid suspicion by removing yourself from the situation completely! Ask the person next to you if they’d be willing to watch your stuff while you head to the bathroom, and when they say yes, add, “Oh also? Would you mind turning my brightness down? Haha, thanks!” This way you have at least one witness who can confirm that there was nothing embarrassing on your screen, just five weeks’ worth of unread work emails and a latent incognito window that’s waiting to be used!
If all else fails, scream, “I have nothing to hide!”
This is a tried-and-true method to ensure everyone in the near vicinity knows you’re not doing anything creepy or weird on your computer! It certainly will not backfire and make you seem like you really have something to hide.
There you have it! Never look at a screen that is unreasonably bright for fear of social ostracization again. And remember: If it’s too stressful to adjust your screen brightness in front of other people, you can always walk all the way home.