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Battle of the Zoom disruptions

Photo credit: CreateHER Stock

Social isolation has produced three sets of people since March of 2020. The first group is walking in circles, restlessly ready to go to the nearest beach, bar or boutique. They’re loving Zoom because it’s an opportunity to be able to keep tabs on family and friends. They may even enjoy work calls with their foes, just to pass some time.

The second group is shrugging their shoulders because they already worked from home and are happily enjoying a loner’s life. They could take or leave Zoom, are often tech savvy, but just enjoy their own company when there are no meetings on their calendars at all. They barely if ever complain about social isolation.

Then there’s a third group, the one who is clumsily figuring out a Zoom life but also extremely busy in their own love loves, as parents or taking up creative hobbies to pass the time. Trying to master virtual software is yet another factor to add to their stressful to-do list, and they’re over it all.

So what happens when these three groups collide? The social butterflies, the antisocial and—as Kendrick Lamar self-described himself—the “antisocial extrovert.” The digital world ends up with those who become video conference pros. Then, we end up with those who have Zoom anxiety, along with those who salivate at the opportunity to use Zoom Escaper. And sometimes you get all three groups on one call.

So what exactly does Zoom anxiety entail?

If you’ve had to fight the urge to constantly fix your hair while seeing yourself on a computer screen, are paranoid about your pet interrupting your conference call, are exhausted by sitting in front of a laptop or desktop all day, or are worried about potential tech and audio issues before the call even starts, you’ve experienced Zoom anxiety.

In fact, Buffalo 7 asked more than 2,000 at-home workers about whether there were triggers to give them Zoom anxiety. It turned out that 73 percent of people have suffered from it in the last year. Video calls made people more anxious (76 percent) than telephone calls, and 48 percent thought virtual calls were even worse than traditional face-to-face meetings.

Introducing the Zoom Escaper to purposely ruin the call

Ironically, while some video conferencing users are worried about having the perfect call, others have found a way to ditch Zoom meetings as quickly as possible. Zoom Escaper gives them the option to purposely mess up a call to get off faster. That includes creating a bad connection, delayed timing, an echo, a crying baby, a weeping man, dogs barking, wind blowing, construction noises and even urination.

And the site works as simply as turning your mic on, and just playing the noises as a user sees fit. There’s not even a need to download any mobile apps.

With more than 300 million users on Zoom these days, eventually some will catch on to hearing the same Zoom Escaper recordings of course. Even worse, some will block out the noise and normalize it, and just keep on talking.

But for users who really need a break, or an opportunity to talk to who they really want to talk to, could Zoom users expect to have a little bit of both?

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