Is Zoom the Future?

By Ava Dunwoody | Arts & Life Editor

When I heard sorority recruitment was being held entirely on Zoom this year, I had little expectation it was going to be a positive experience. But I have never been so happy to be wrong.

Sure, it wasn’t the same and definitely was a whole new experience, but I actually found a new appreciation for video calls and the power of technology when it comes to bringing people together. In addition to recruitment, all the jokes about Zoom University and countless game nights through the laptop screen have led me to believe that virtual connections aren’t going to be eradicated when the pandemic ends.

There are several benefits of video calls in replacement of scheduled meetings or classes. My favorite one of these perks is the eliminated travel time. Not only can I now roll out of bed and straight to my desk for a class in the morning, but when the class is over, I can simply roll back the other way and be curled up in blankets. No more having to be ready earlier to drive. No more lingering around the parking lot making small talk and waiting to get home.

Another aspect I love about Zoom is the attire: business on the top, pajama party on the bottom. I can wear fuzzy socks and plaid pajama pants to student senate meetings, staff meetings and family gatherings and nobody even knows. And honestly, the top doesn’t have to be all that fancy either. Nobody can really tell if your hair isn’t perfect or if you woke up with dry skin that day — their connection is probably too spotty to have a perfectly clear image anyway.

While I am living the life of a college student on Zoom, I can imagine the professional business world is loving this too. Imagine realizing you’ve been paying for your staff to go on expensive, all-inclusive business trips around the world for the past 20 years, only to realize the same exact thing can be done over Zoom. For free. Not to mention how much work time had been devoured on plane rides and in transit when it could have been doubled if only conducted through video call in the office.

If I were a business owner, I know I’d be making the switch. And since I am a student, I hope that we will be able to make the switch for some things too. Of course, there is nothing like in-person events, and I don’t want those to go away, but when there is a 15-minute meeting that takes me 20 minutes to get to and from, I’d much rather type in a meeting ID.

Whether you like it or not, Zoom is where we are right now, and I think it’s where we might stay in some parts of life. When I think about how many potential lives might have been saved because of it, it doesn’t seem like such a chore to have to take some classes over Zoom. If anything, it’s given me a deeper appreciation of what we will have again when we come together in person (and a deeper appreciation of fuzzy socks).