Zoom Chats

Family on screen having a zoom chat

Zoom Chats

Who would have thought in March that we would all be stuck inside our homes, not able to travel, not able to meet up with family or friends, not even allowed to go to work and definitely not hugging the people we love.

Many of us, especially those in the older age range, are not very familiar with technology. So many people have avoided WhatsApp and Instagram, afraid to get involved in social media. Oh well. Now we are embracing it with open arms. Forcing ourselves to learn. Taking gradual steps into the world of Technology and recognising it as a way to “see” our family and friends. Who cares if it’s only virtually.

Four months ago no one had ever heard of Zoom. Now it has become a verb and an adjective. “Would you like a zoom chat tomorrow?” “I’ve just Zoomed Veronica in Essex” “ Sorry. I wont be able to make our Zoom chat tonight. I’m going to be Zooming with my old school pals”. Most of us are very competent Zoomers.

So. How does it work? Well. All you need is a phone, laptop or device which can download the app. Choose a time which suits all parties. I forgot to mention that you can talk to lots of people at the same time. I believe it works with up to 100 different screens although my maximum has been ten groups. Even politicians use it!

And what do we do? Well, of course you chat. If you only have two or three friends that works well but increase that to twenty and it is a recipe for disaster. Most of us have avoided “disaster” by thinking of smart ways of using our new found means of communication . A fantastic new craze is the Quiz. Friends and families are meeting via Zoom for a quiz night. In my family each participant chooses a topic so no one has the burden of thinking of all the questions. Our rounds have covered a range of topics from epidemics and food to songs and famous people wearing masks! Great fun.

And what are the frequently heard questions and observations which can be heard in all Zoom chats? Here they are in rank order of frequency

1 Can you hear me?
2 I can see you but I can’t hear you.
3 Turn up your microphone
4 Tap the top left of the screen
5 I can only see the top of your head
6 You’ve disappeared
7 Were going to get cut off in five minutes
8 John can’t make it
9 I’ll be back in a minute
10 See you next week

Hopefully, as we ease our way out of lockdown we wont need to use Zoom so much. In the meantime, I for one am very happy to have discovered it.