By Jamie Miller
Here we are again, the coronavirus is still spreading, and as a result, the lockdown is still in effect. Schools have been shut down. Parking lots are left barren, and many businesses are empty. However, never fear, there’s a solution here and that solution is Zoom, or is it? Keep reading and draw your own conclusion.
For those of you who don’t know, Zoom is a video conference app which allows multiple people to “face chat” one another. You can change your background to nearly anything your heart desires, such as a picture of your dog, your cat, or nearly anything else. That being said you should be mindful of what you use. Your dog is fine, however, a picture of you tipsy and out of it at a christmas party dancing on a table with a man in a Grinch costume, not so much. You can also share what you’re looking at on your computer, etc. The app is being harnessed by colleges and businesses in order for students and workers to have face to err… screen contact with each other and their teachers/ bosses.
And while this is very, very different from being in direct physical contact it does have its advantages. Instead of driving all the way to your school or work, all you need to do is fire up your phone or computer and log onto Zoom, find the chat and bing, bang, boom you’re all set. All from the comfort of your very own home.
However, as Zoom relies on technology it also has some drawbacks. Not only is there the problem that if you don’t have internet or a really crappy connection you’re basically going to feel like you’re in a boxing match with Mike Tyson with your arms tied behind your back, but there is also the problem of data breaches. Like other websites and apps, there is always the risk of hackers. There’s even a name for “trolls” on Zoom. They’re called “Zoombombers” and they do everything from profanity-laced rants to using racial slurs.
However, not only do Zoom users need to be concerned with Zoombombers but also their own stupidity, take for example the woman who was on a Zoom call and, thinking her camera was off, sat down to use the bathroom. The whole time the camera was rolling. Not to mention Zoom itself is even the subject of a lawsuit due to its alleged “ineffective security measures,” and practice of keeping users’ personal data. The case is ongoing and the trouble persists.
To date, David Murray, GRCC’s Communications Director, said he has not heard of any professors having any problems with Zoom. Time will tell if this is the calm before the storm.