Zoom has been around for years already, but most people didn’t start hearing about it until April when everyone working from home had regular Zoom meetings to keep in touch. It’s an excellent way for people to connect efficiently and conveniently, especially for such a time as now.
If you don’t know what Zoom is, it’s a video and audio conferencing application that allows up to 1,000 users to be logged into the same meeting at one time. The application works on computers (Mac and PC), tablets, and smartphones.
In early April, the application received its highest one-day total of downloads (343,000), vastly increasing its popularity around the world.
With its ability to host so many people at once, people are finding new ways to make the most of it. One way of doing that is by having Zoom parties.
While some people are content to stay quarantined, and consider this time to be a blessing, extroverts and social butterflies have a major itch to scratch. They want to talk to people, be in a crowd, and be around a lot of people at once. so many of them are scheduling meetings with friends and having themed parties over a Zoom call, no matter where in the world they are. It’s ideal for people who love to travel.
Let’s talk past trips
People regularly make friends with fellow travelers, whether you’re on a package tour or you made some friends in the countries where you visited. Zoom can further strengthen those connections by giving you a chance to reconnect and reminisce on the meaningful times you experienced.
Let’s say you went to Australia a couple years ago, and met someone who made a big impression or even an important change in your life just in that brief time together. You could not only connect with that person on Zoom, but even introduce them to a few other friends. Hold an impromptu conference that lets you all share big ideas and experiences to help each other. Tell stories about your experiences and the things you learned. Connect them with other people, and see what cool things can develop as a result.
You can hold mini-reunions with colleagues or former classmates, rather than waiting for your next reunion or even missing the one you were supposed to attend this summer. Your travel group could get together and share photos and memories of the last trip you took, or you could relive the post-vacation slideshows our parents made us sit through and have special slideshow parties by sharing a slide deck of your best shots from your last vacation.
Whatever you want to do in person, you can do with Zoom in the meantime.
A word of warning
One thing to be aware is the occasional problem of Zoombombing, where a hacker crashes a Zoom party, takes over the screen sharing, and share unwanted, often pornographic, images or videos until the host can kick them out.
Zoom has begun to crack down on this, but there are a few things you can do to prevent it, if you’re the host of your meeting.
Before your meeting starts,
- Look under Personal –> Settings, and set a password requirement for each meeting. This only allows authorized people to join.
- In that same section, turn off Screen Sharing for everyone else by making it available for “Host Only.”
- When you schedule a new meeting, generate a new meeting ID, don’t use your personal ID. If hackers get ahold of your personal ID (they search for meeting URLs in public settings, like Facebook groups), they’ll keep checking it.
- Be sure to enable the waiting room. Don’t let anyone in that you don’t recognize.
Just because we’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t talk to our friends and share some of our memories. Zoom can be a great way to connect with others even once this is all over and people start returning to normal.
Are you using Zoom for more than work? Are you having any Zoom parties or fun gatherings? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: Tumisu (PXHere.com, Creative Commons 0)