One of the recommendations for this time at home during the virus pandemic is to learn a new skill. While I would have preferred to master one I chose, I had instead to learn how to use Zoom. Not to be confused with Zumba, the dance exercise, Zoom is an application for computers, phones or tablets that allows people to “meet” in “virtual rooms.” In the photo above, some of the employees of Zoom are pictured having one such get together.
Because regular meetings of people are prohibited, many of us have had to find ways to connect face to face, or at least image to image, with one another. Zoom uses the camera and microphone on a given device to send a person’s image and voice to others. Much more capable than Facetime, the Apple application which allows us to talk to one another, Zoom has the capacity to host large meetings, to allow breakout sessions during them, to allow people to take turns when facilitated by the host, and other things I have yet to discover. Since I really don’t want to spend my whole time at home learning Zoom, that is as much as I am likely to know.
The Friars from our church set up separate Zoom sessions for each of the Mass times yesterday. Since we go to the 11:45 Mass, for instance, we logged onto Zoom at 11:30, giving us a chance to virtually meet and greet one another. One positive addition to this way of meeting was that each person’s name was displayed under the picture like a name tag. We often only know each other by sight, so now we had names. We also had a chance to see people’s living rooms, their uncombed hair, and their pets.
Most fun was the majority’s inability to use the application smoothly. If I had ever wondered how families interacted before they entered church, I now had my answer. “No not that button.” “Get that image off the screen.” “You are only showing your pants leg.” “Let me work this myself!” While the majority of microphones were on mute, per the Friar’s instructions, each new person entered noisily and clumsily, interrupting the already semi-chaotic gathering. I guess people who come late to Mass also come late to Zoom!
I would love to know if anyone else has attempted to master a new skill. Please share. One at a time. Just like on Zoom. (Don’t worry. I can’t see or hear you.)