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A Few “How to’s” and a Few “Not to Do’s” with Zoom

Zoom Video Conferencing | How To’s” and a Few “Not to Do’s"

A conversation on tht "how to's" and a few "not to do's" with Zoom

It seems as if these days, the answer for everything is “Oh, we will just do a Zoom,” but what exactly are ways that people can use Zoom when getting together in person isn’t possible?

Zoom or other video conferencing tools are being used as a replacement in 2020 for many traditional family events and milestones such as Family Reunions, Funerals, Graduations, Birthday Parties, and even weddings. People are also using Zoom to learn via tutoring sessions, music lessons, and foreign language lessons. And of course, people are now using these tools for digital dating and more. It is up to your imagination; if you are looking to connect a group of people for whatever reason, these tools are making that connection possible in a digital format.

How are people using Zoom to stay connected with family members of different generations, not only around significant events?

Many groups have set up standing Zoom meetings, even regular happy hours at a set time every week or month. Grandchildren are also staying connected with their grandparents via Zoom sessions as well. We have learned that it is helpful to consider generational differences when managing the scheduling of these more one on one sessions between different generations. For example, the younger folks tend to have more flexible schedules and are comfortable jumping on a Zoom even if they have to multi-task. Older folks tend to look for more advanced scheduling for these sessions, so it might make sense to touch-base earlier in the week and land on a time to connect.

One tip, regardless of the size of a Zoom meeting, is to provide some agenda ahead of time or at the beginning of a session. Having a topic tree to follow helps provide structure to make the most of your time connecting with others. The free version of Zoom cuts off meetings after 40 minutes, so it’s good not to waste time and have to stop a conversation mid-sentence due to time.

How should kids be allowed to use Zoom? Any advice?

Zoom’s policy is 16 years old and over for use. Anyone younger should be monitored or logged on with an adult. Zoom is not an open chatroom like the old AOL days. However, a meeting invite can be sent to anyone as long as you have their email or phone number. So, be mindful of who your child is communicating with at all times. Drop-in now and again to have a brief conversation with their friends; this should be enough to monitor them without being “overbearing. If Zoom is being used for school purposes, it is still wise to occasionally monitor your kid’s activity on Zoom to be safe.

What Zoom rules need to be established and communicated clearly to children, and why?

The age-old internet rules still apply here:

  • Don’t talk to strangers.
  • Don’t send any payments over the internet.
  • Don’t give any personally identifiable information to anyone over the internet, even if they present themselves as someone you know.
  • Don’t download any suspicious files
  • Avoid vulgarity
  • Share picture/videos/texts with caution
  • Fact-check before spreading information
  • Respect other people’s privacy

These are important because every single one of these rules protects your privacy. Remember the permanent record from school? The internet is your permanent record for LIFE. Numerous careers have been ruined because of inconsiderate behavior that surfaced on the internet.

Any other thoughts, tips, or suggestions on this topic?

The internet is forever. Even if you delete a post or comment, there is always proof, especially if the host is recording the Zoom meeting. Though these are digital platforms, this still real life. Your behavior can go viral. Before you speak/react, ask yourself twice:

  • Am I potentially embarrassing myself by saying/doing this?
  • Am I potentially embarrassing anyone else by saying/doing this?
  • Would anyone find this comment or speech offensive?
  • Could what I say/do land me in any legal trouble?

If your answers are all no, then you should be in the clear. Be safe, and stay connected.

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