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Zoom in and connect online

By Kelly Skilton

Through the ‘Connecting with Community Series’ I hope to introduce to you a range of digital mediums, however, it may also be about reminding you of things that our communities are frequently using to connect.

In this entry, I want to re-introduce you to Zoom.

Never used Zoom?
Marcia Chadly, from Chadly Creative Consulting, helps us to demystify platforms by simple and easy videos for us to access on her YouTube channel. She has a range of Zoom tutorials to help us get the most out of the platform.

If you’re comfortable with using Zoom, it might be just about getting acquainted with the updates and features that we have in 2023.

Throughout COVID many of us became very familiar with Zoom, and it is now very much a part of a regular week for churches and workplaces. Perhaps you might be connecting with others across Zoom but have not really thought about why this platforms helps us connect and build community with each other. Here are some community connection highlights Zoom gives us:

Virtual Face-to-Face Interaction

Zoom allows us to connect together in real time, as if we were sitting together in a room. This face-to-face interaction helps us to engage one another regardless of distance.

Easy and Convenient Communication

Regardless of where we are people are able to connect together. It is important to remember that a Zoom conversation allows us to enter each other’s homes by the click of a mouse. We must not take this for granted as people’s homes should be their safe place, and we should make sure our Zoom communications allow people to feel safe and respected.

Safe and Inclusive Environment

Along with being instantly welcomed into another’s home, Zoom provides a safe space for people to interact together. For people who are hard of hearing, or are visually impaired, Zoom allows for integrated plug-ins, like screen readers, that enable users equal participation. It is important to remember that a safe and inclusive environment only begins with accessibility, and it will still require the community to work at open and dignifying conversation. Zoom also has a very low entry requirement, and once you learn the basics, it becomes straightforward to join meetings or gatherings.

Group Activities

Whether it is a meeting, conference or workshop, Zoom enables communities to gather together. It can even be used for trivia nights, where the breakout rooms can be utilised as team ‘tables’. You can even host book clubs, meals together and other gatherings when wanting to meet together. It is just important to remember, that if people are gathering for a meal on Zoom, usually the food is BYO.5. Celebration and Friendship.

Celebration and friendship

Along with group activities, you can connect with one another for birthdays and anniversaries regardless of your physical location. If you set up these connections regularly, Zoom can be one digital platform that helps us foster a sense of belonging and unity within the community.

Zoom is not ‘the new kid on the block’ when it comes to digital mediums, however, it is still a key platform that people are using in digital communications. When we connect across a community of all-ages, we should always maintain a level of safety for our vulnerable members – perhaps having another read of the Safe ‘Digital’ Church article will help remind us of ways to keep Zoom safe for children and adults alike.

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