Off Topic: Is Anyone Zooming?

Is anyone here using Zoom and willing to shed some light on it for me?

I want to use it to stay in touch with people. I’m not enjoying facetime.

From the website, it looks like I can pay $15 a month and have up to 100 participants (not that I have 100 people). It sounds like only I would have to pay but my “participants” could log in and participate for free - does that make sense/sound right?

Seems easy - is it easy and does it work well?

Does this seem like a decent idea? Any advice or recommendations welcome.

Yes, see these remarkably clear videos for participants and hosts:

I think the narrator is some sort of counselor or therapist, she is very soothing and positive!

Thank you!

These will also help me get my ‘participants’ on there. I appreciate it!

Last time I checked, you can host Zoom for free (no plan sign up/payment) for meetings limited to 40 minutes, so try that first. I understand Zoom, initially not enforcing this, is now timing the meetings. (Our book club meet for over and hour on the “freebie” plan a couple weeks ago.)


I am because it’s free but not otherwise. I tend to look down into my phone and therefore see the reflection of all the wrinkles. I have to remember to hold the phone above head height and look up so that I don’t get that ‘being on top’ look. :wink:


I saw that, but I know it will be a couple of hours at least. And that might be a few times a week. It’s only $15/month. Seems fair to me. And since I can pay, maybe it will keep it free for those who need it to be free. Or, I could have my friends and family Venmo me a $3 each. I wouldn’t because I surely owe each of them - but that might be a decent option for your book club?

The videos are awesome, thank you so much. It made it easy and all easy for me to get some of my less tech-inclined folks hooked-up on there. :pray:

edit to add: she is very soothing and her particpant is very cute :wink:

lol. why not use your laptop??

Yes. I’m having several times a week “meetings” with various groups. All of them were initiated by another member of the group so I’m not a master despite being in at least 10 sessions so far. Since some of my friends are teachers who were already using it I think some had free use that they use for school and personal.

One member of my friends crew (the group I do the summer trip with) just signed up for the paid service so we don’t get cut off again. We also were getting more than 40 free minutes at first but not now. I can’t imagine that it’s not worth every penny though.

Also anyone who is concerned about their looks (Not me!) or who prefers naked zooming can turn off the camera for others, or turn off their view of themselves so they don’t have to look at themselves.

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Correct, participating in the meetings is free, only the host has to pay. So if your group has a designated “host,” only one subscription needed.
I paid on the month by month plan for my virtual Seder, as I knew it would go over the limit. I wonder if you can lend your log in ID to others as long as you’re not on at the same time. Don’t know if they ID your device or otherwise limit. Does anyone know?
Don’t consider me an expert, I’ve “zoomed” only a handful of times!

Full disclosure: my meetings are all “happy hours” that typically last 2-3 hours and at several times a week I am consuming way too much alcohol. So be warned!


Honestly, it’s a very fair price. Some people will need the free version. But there’s really no such thing as free (someone has to pay), so paying for a subscription will help keep it free for those who need it. That’s the way I look at it anyway. Besides, once I have the subscription I can use it for everyone I know without them ever having to pay. That seems like there’s some free-ness in there already :woman_shrugging:

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That is exactly what I’m doing :slight_smile:

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Then I’d see my wrinkles on an even bigger screen. :confounded:

Very good point though. I’m a mid-century modern millennial it seems, so I always think ‘phone’ first. :slight_smile:


I was thinking of my adult kids, I’m not planning any subterfuge, such as “renting out” my ID like an Airbnb rental arbitrager! Looking at the Zoom site, you can assign other users to your account to schedule for you, but I’m not sure what the limits are or if fees are involved.

It says that the other users also have to have the Pro plan.

My comment wasn’t specific to you. I’m just aware that it’s a public forum with a lot of silent readers :slight_smile:

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When people say that apps and such are free, they are assuming that everyone has high speed, unlimited internet. My internet is cell-based, metered and expensive. I don’t have any other option- there are no phone lines out where I live, so can’t have a hard-wired modem. Everything I do online eats up data, and visuals gobble it in no time.

If we go over the 40 minutes the Host either creates a new meeting and link and texts it to us, or someone else in the group takes over being host.

So far we haven’t needed more than 3 links in an evening, but only because the kids wake up at 6 am so we can’t stay up too late.

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Wouldn’t it be easier to just chip in $5 each? I don’t get it.

My family is using Zoom. The free app has been sufficient. However, we have to remind distant relatives to adjust to the time differences.

I have been using multiple VC apps but so far Zoom has provided the best experience. I use it on a PC connected to my 60" TV while my kids who are far away, use it on their desktop or laptops. We sit in a nice sofa with the web camera and combined mic resting on a chair on front of us and we can see everybody on the big screen which is a nice family experience. It’s almost like they are there which is a far better experience than using a phone. For reasons that perhaps are the “thing” for millenials, my kids (21 and 26) like to play with custom backgrounds all the time and send silly chats to each other rather than interacting with their parents :slight_smile:

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