Why do we rely on zoom?

Jair Santana 10-1

Zoom has been utilized by companies, schools, and government facilities in order to facilitate online communication, but is it really the best option? Before this pandemic, Zoom had similar popularity to that of Skype and Discord, but it has gained a lot of mileage in a short period of time. Zoom has had a drastic rise in usage since the COVID-19 outbreak because online communication and conferencing is a necessary replacement for our typical activities as it does not require physical contact. A variety of people are starting to use Zoom, but most of them aren’t aware that they may be compromising their security.

Zoom was developed to be used in companies or small groups of people where some sort of technician would set up the service. Zoom was not made for the general public. This could explain the various security mishaps the company has had; the app wasn’t developed in order to handle the user base it has attained due to quarantine. Zoom’s issues include: random people joining a call or the breaching of account emails, and some of these remain unfixed. Congressmen reported multiple instances of “Zoombombing”, where a random member joins the call during a congress meeting. Nevertheless, despite the many security issues, Zoom joined the NASDAQ 100 index, an online stock trading platform that focuses mainly on technology companies. But why are people still choosing Zoom over the other platforms? It’s mostly because it’s the easiest to set up and use out of all the platforms. It’s also widely available on many devices and is being tailored into the worldwide app it’s on track to be.

If you don’t think Zoom is the right option for you anymore, don’t worry, there are many other platforms with the same basic functions, like video conferencing and screen sharing, that is much more safe and reliable. I’d choose Google Meet, it has the same basic functionality and nowhere near the same amount of significant security issues (if any). All things considered, you’d be losing out on things like built-in polls and fun backgrounds. 

The same applies to skype, although it’s much harder to set up since open meetings aren’t its intended purpose. I’d describe skype as a platform for small interpersonal meetings due to its limitations. Skype has outdated features and hasn’t really changed much these past years. It’s definitely the worst out of the other options.

Instead, for personal meetings between small groups of people, you should use Discord since it provides the best connection and community management out of all the options I’ve seen and tested. Discord’s servers are a way to manage groups of up to 250,000 thousand people through separate messaging channels and voice chats. They’re easily managed and very versatile. The purpose of a discord server can range from a simple 20 person classroom with different topics and administrators to huge networks of people composed of thousands of participants centered around a single topic. In addition to this, Discord has recently been expanding its video and screen sharing capabilities which makes it easier to rely on it as a multi-purpose service.

The most inconvenient route can sometimes be the most rewarding. In this case, choosing which platform you utilize for your online communication could save you worries, time, and effort. Personally, I’d choose between Discord for organized communities and google meet for simple video conferencing.

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