Sorry, but pandemic-era Zoom has definitely jumped the shark.
It’s not just that this “free” software wants to access all your contacts;
or that it collects and shares your (“anonymized”… riiiight ) data;
or that it’s replaced in-person teaching for the foreseeable future;
or that it’s so insecure that school kids have been “zoombombed” (barf) with Nazi propaganda and porn;
or that the Dems have called for an investigation of the company;
or that everyone’s 80 year old Poppy is now discovering their 10-year-old Webcam and needs hours of help to figure it out;
or that SNL did a skit mocking it, while at the same time doing a show using it (meta-meta, or something);
or that "Zoom Easters" and Passovers and birthdays and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings and funerals and for all I know marriage consummations are now a thing.
No, it’s not any of those things that truly annoy me. It’s that anyone of a certain age remembers when Zoom was a cool-ass TV show on PBS, and, perhaps, when “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” was a painfully bad Aretha Franklin song from the ‘80s. COVID has now ruined those awesomely nostalgic associations and instead replaced them with . . . crappy videoconferencing.
And what the hell happened to Skype? Didn’t they basically invent that market? I think Microsoft bought them and then killed them.
A sign of these times is that I'm currently working on a scenario called, "How To Survive An Early-Morning Videoconference When You’ve Over-Slept" over there on my other blog, at worstcasescenario.com. (Yeah, that's right, I have two blogs. What of it?) And the really scary part is that most of the advice is based on real life. Because haven't we all Zoomed in our pajama bottoms? Which is like the Zoom version of a mullet: All business on top; lazy loser on the bottom.
I had three Zoom happy hours this weekend, including two back-to-back because the people on the other end were in locations two time zones apart. I tell you, this drunk videoconferencing is exhausting. And I'm feeling over-scheduled without even leaving the house.
I long for the days when my Webcam was covered with a piece of tape.
--- Josh Piven