Dear Crabby, What is Zoom?

Dear Crabby, What is Zoom?

Sincerely, Chatty Sue

 

Well Hello Chatty Sue – how do, do you do?

Zoom is the noise every little boy makes when playing with toy cars and trucks, as well as what they shout out when riding a bike or running around the house like tiny over-caffeinated cab drivers … “I take you to airport, zoom, zoom, zoom.” There’s just something about boys adding sound effects to everything they do. Oh, you may have noticed that doesn’t go away as they get older. However, it just dawned on me that you may be talking about the other kind of Zoom.

There’s a lot of new words being used today, such as Zoom, Skype, Jitsi, Discord, Slack, Zoho, GoToMeeting, and the list goes on and on. While many of these terms have been around for a few years now, they’re gaining huge popularity due to so many of us working from home, switching to online learning, and just trying to stay connected with family and friends. If this same health crisis had hit 15 or 20 years ago without our wonderful newer technology, we probably would have continued to go to school and work and church – but those were different times.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Zoom, and all those others, are company names and/or an applications for computers and smartphones. Some require you download software, others just send you a website link. This allows you to connect a camera and microphone (or smartphone) online to chat, see, and hear others. And you don’t have to wear a mask – unless you’re afraid of computer viruses – but that won’t help you anyway. Around the world or in the next room, you can now hold business meetings, family gatherings, game nights with friends, and learn just about anything in a virtual classroom setting.

It reminds me of the those party lines / chat lines from years ago. A dozen or so people would all call a one phone number to be allowed on a line with others. Everyone would talk at the same time, or no one would talk at all. It was confusing, “Who’s talking,” “Who’s answering,” Why am I on this stupid thing.” And parents got huge phone bills as teens “hung out” at upwards of a dollar per minute! Surprisingly, today’s answer to group chat is not that expensive.

Most of these video conferencing services offer a free entry level plan, which works alright with family and friends getting together online. However, for schools and businesses, a paid plan will be more likely. Usually, that cost is paid by the host of the meeting. So for you and I wanting to play Battleship with the grandkids or to have the children “Skype” their mom for Mother’s Day, we’re good to go – you just need that computer, webcam, and microphone.

A free app and smartphone will do the trick most of the time for you trendy young people. Me, I’m still trying to link my typewriter to my black and white TV to my Super 8 movie camera …

Happy Zooming!

Dear Crabby

 

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCrabby@rochestermedia.com.

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