An ode to Zoom Video Conferencing

Image courtesy of Zoom Blog

When COVID-19 made me take the long trek home a few weeks ago I feared the worst for the standard of teaching I would receive. Surely this would never work. In many ways I envy how innocent I was back then, without a clue of what would soon revolutionise my life. Enter Zoom Video Conferencing.

When my seminar leader emailed me a link to a group call that would fill our seminar from 2-4 on Tuesdays, I just could not fathom how this was going to work. Now I can’t even contemplate doing it any other way. The sleek, frictionless interface has revolutionised my life like nothing I can remember. The conversation flowed like we were old friends, rather than a group of acquaintances who saw each other once a week and left as quickly as possible when it was over. People I hadn’t seen since the first week of term were suddenly interjecting frequently with erudite comments that received positive noises from the seminar leader. And in no way did the seminar leader’s microphone not work, leading to a slightly awkward back and forth using the chat function whilst those of us who bothered to be in attendance spoke.

But that was just the beginning. That first digital seminar lit a spark in me that had been vacated once football stopped happening. I could not get enough; Zoom became a nicotine patch for everything that I had lost in the fires of Coronavirus. I started living on it and refused to communicate in any other format. That evening when I was called for dinner I did not respond. When my mother came to my room to get me, I continued to ignore her words, merely pointing to a sign I had created that read, “Now I only talk on Zoom” and had my username underneath. The crisp audio quality lets me hear their frustrated tones as they attempt to communicate with me, but it doesn’t bother me, because I get to be on Zoom.

Before my friends and I spoke on a group chat on Snapchat, now we have realised the errors of our ways and, after some cajoling, we use Zoom. In my opinion it is far better. Why would we use anything else? We don’t breathe the second-best type of air, why would we use the second-best form of communicating?

In many ways I am dreading the end of the lockdown because it will dramatically cut down my time spent on Zoom. I have been spending many hours figuring out how I will be able to continue spending contact hours on it, but no workable solutions yet come to mind unless I manage to procure a second laptop and place it in the rooms before they begin. However, I worry that the time spent doing that could have just been spent on Zoom.

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