Steffens Law Offices - April 2020 Broken Bow: (308) 872-8327 Kearney: (308) 224-3325

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April 2020

Socializing While Social Distancing Learning to Love Zoom

We all like a little downtime. It’s a chance to escape for a while, recharge, do some undisturbed thinking, read a good book, go for a walk or a run, or maybe ride your bike (preferably outside rather than on a machine). But for most of us, being alone with our thoughts is only enjoyable and nurturing for a limited period of time. We are social beings, plain and simple. Biblically speaking, “Man was not meant to be alone.” We just can’t escape our biological roots. Eons ago, prehistoric people survived by living together in communities. They socialized by talking about where to find food and what dangers to avoid. Those who listened and passed on this information survived, and the “loners” did not. So, we are all descendants of socializers. It’s part of our genetic makeup. Although, I admit, more so in some than others. How, then, do we satisfy our need to socialize in a world where we are asked to social distance or even quarantine ourselves at home? I think I can sum up the answer in one word: Zoom! Zoom is a conferencing service company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides remote videoconferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration services. It’s the leader in modern video communications, with an easy (even I can do it) and reliable Cloud platform for audio- and videoconferencing using mobile, desktop, and room systems. You can invite up to a thousand participants (depending on your plan), and it is very affordable. Plus, the video quality is pretty amazing! You can sign up for free and enjoy unlimited meetings for up to 40 minutes at a time. To host, manage, and set feature controls, the least expensive plan is only $14.99 a month. I first began using this platform for office meetings. All but two of our 13 employees have been equipped with laptops and monitors to work from home. Personally, I have been telecommuting for the last 10 days, but that’s another story. In the meantime, I’ve discovered that Zoom can be used for many other types of social gatherings: a birthday party, dinner and drinks (BYOF and BYOB), or just casual communication with friends. Presently, Zoom really is the next best thing to being together in person. If you do try Zoom, you’ll want to practice proper Zoom etiquette (good manners while Zooming). Here is my list to get you started. First, remember your main light source needs to be in front of your face, not

behind it (unless you want to hide a bad hair day or unshaven stubble). Second, stage an appropriate background. No one wants to peer past you and view your wet towel slung over a closet door. Third, Zoom focuses on your face with great clarity. If there is too much light shining up from below, you look spookier than Vincent Price in a horror movie. (I know, this reference dates me.) If your only light comes from above, your face will look droopy and stern. We elders battle this effect no matter what the lighting is. And last, cut out any unwanted or disruptive commotion going on behind you. That R-rated movie playing in the background may not make the impression you desire. To learn how to host or join a zoom meeting, just ask one of your children. If you’re an empty-nester like Cory and I, there are a number of tutorials available on the Zoom website. Otherwise, you’re welcome to call our office and talk to one of our youthful employees. I know this is a difficult time for everyone, but I’m confident we will get through it together. In the meantime, we need to keep communicating and socializing. Now, go try Zoom with your family and friends! Stay safe and be well.

-Bill Steffens | 1

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