Zoom Room Doom

I love technology.  Honestly.  I really do.  I love the excitement and challenge of learning new programs.  I love exploring the possibilities that each new app or platform holds.  And, generally, I can figure things out fairly quickly on my own or by watching a few YouTube tutorials.  But, I must admit, lately, my enthusiasm has turned to frustration when it comes to working with Zoom. 

Scheduling a meeting is simple enough. Inviting people to join me online is easy-peasy. Actually logging in to Join a Meeting is often exasperating!  At every scheduled class I receive texts and emails from desperate attendees who cannot get past the Zoom Room Door of Doom.  And I have no control over the situation. (I hate not being in control, ya know?)  In the meantime, I'm trying to stay calm in front of those on camera view who were lucky enough to get in! Observe my smiling face at far left.  I spend the next day responding to emails from disappointed painting friends who may have paid for a class that was unavailable to them.  Yes, I feel your pain.

What can we do to fix this?  I've spent a considerable number of hours at the computer looking for answers, suggestions, and solutions. I'm sharing my research with you here in the hope that you might be encouraged knowing you're not alone in the cyberverse, and that there are a few things you can do to help reduce the chances of encountering some frustrating online problems.

  • First, understand that the internet bandwidth in YOUR neighborhood and on your street can have a direct impact on your ability to connect online.  If there are multiple devices online in your home sucking up bandwidth (gaming teenagers, Dad checking the sports stats or watching streaming TV channels, Sis watching YouTube videos, etc.) you may have trouble connecting.
  • Turn off or disable ad blockers that might prevent you from connecting to certain websites.
  • Clear the cache from your browser.  Cookies and temporary files may be dropping bits of information into login fields. Delete cookies and temp files often or schedule them to automatically delete upon shutdown.
  • Refresh your browser.  Once you are on a website (Zoom.us or LaureArt.com for instance) click the little circly-arrow thingy up in the lefthand corner of your screen. That will bring you to the newest version of that website and you can start fresh. Do this especially if you depend on "bookmarks" to direct you to the site.
  • Wondering if a website is down for everyone or just you?  Go to DownForEveryoneOrJustMe   Honestly.  It's for real.  Just type in the troubling web address and it will give you a status report.
  • Lastly,  regarding Zoom, use the imbedded link sent to you in your Zoom Meeting Invitation or use the Zoom app on your computer or device instead of going there from your internet browser.  Zoom uses a different server for their browser experience and it is not as reliable as the link or the app.

I still love technology.  It's a miracle of our modern world - our broken, fallen world.  Glitch happens.  Stay calm and zoom on!  I want to see your smiling face at our next online class!