Last week I wrote about Zoom (zoom.us) as an easier way to video chat with people. Unlike the other chat options, this one does not require software or registration for anyone except the one calling the meeting. Just send them an email and a time to meet. They click on the link and you are having a video chat. Two high school buddies and I had a hilarious two hour Zoom Party. I understand alcohol was present. Not sure about that, but it sure was funny. We laughed for most of the two hours.
Emboldened by that experiment I decided to offer it to my high school class. The reunion we had planned for a year had just been canceled because of the virus. So Zoom seemed like a perfect alternative. 17 people showed up at the appointed hour. And that was another great time. There was no alcohol this time. And some people had minor troubles with Zoom. This Zoom Party was only 40 minutes which is the maximum for more than 3 attendees unless you pay. I expected more people, but I later received many emails urging me to do this again. So I will. I urge you to also try Zoom. The only potential trouble I’ve read about is when it is a public Zoom open to anyone. All of my Zooms have been private so no trouble there.
You can run into some minor issues because there are so many kinds of devices these days. Not all have built in video cameras with audio. Different devices show somewhat different screens so it can be hard to help someone who has a different Zoom screen than you are seeing. For the non-technical, this can seem to be a challenge. But I’ve used Zoom with complete technophobes who told me they didn’t even know their device had a built in camera.
I’m certainly not an expert in using Zoom, but it is really so easy that if they have a laptop you could and should send a zoom invitation to your grandparents. Let the Zoom Party begin!