With the constraints of social distancing, people are having to learn new ways to meet old day-to-day needs for social connection. Zoom, a free application available online, makes video conferencing a simple solution.
"My mom would never use that," you might think.
I admit I thought the same thing, but in the last few days, in reaching out to friends and neighbors, several over 80, I've heard stories to the contrary.
Peter Rumsey, 79, and Barbara Wishy, 86, use it for family conference calls, book clubs and support groups. Terry McManus, 69, uses Zoom to meet with a group of five women she used to sail with. Hugh Stohler, 80, uses it to work with his personal trainer. Martha Coffey, 86, uses it to connect with a group from church. A dinner club at the Cypress Retirement Community that used to gather weekly to discuss politics and business have moved their dinners online. Many organizations provide online support groups using Zoom, as well, now that in-person ones are not possible.
Intrigued, but still intimidated? Here are instructions.
- Go to the Zoom Download page and click on the Blue button to download the application.
- Once it has downloaded, click on the file to open. You will be asked for permission to install it.
- Once installed, you will be asked to create a new user account or sign up using an existing Gmail or FaceBook account.
- Then it will ask you to launch the application.
- Finally, you will be given the option to create a new meeting, join or schedule a meeting. If you are creating a meeting, you will be asked to invite attendees using their email. Alternatively, if someone else sets up a meeting, you will be emailed a link to click on to join the meeting at the appointed time.
For those who prefer following a visual representation of the steps, here are video tutorials available on Zoom.
It would be remiss if I did not mention that Zoom has come under scrutiny recently for some security flaws, which they are working to remedy.