BLOG OFF: Hamblett ’24 vs. Brown ’23

We like to stay pretty competitive here at The Thrill, and a Blog Off is one way we can definitively prove that one of us is objectively a better blogger (dare we say, a better person). So we leave it to you, the reader, to decide in a blind taste test who is really better as we square off on various topics. This time around, we have sophomore Brooke Brown and first-year Isla Hamblett battling it out RE: Which virtual learning platform is superior? Zoom or Google Meet? Who will come out on top? Only you can decide.

Blogger A (Isla):

All this buzz you’re hearing around campus? The electric feeling in the fog? That, my friends, is the calling to indeed reject modernity. And in this process of rejecting modernity, who are we, humble serfs in a world of baby-proofed COVID-era academia to do? Embrace tradition. To disrespect Google Meet is to disrespect tradition. 

The Google franchise is so popular because the internet says it is, and it’s the browser I use, and as a victim of capitalism (as, really, we all are), I am inclined to agree with it. As a child of divorce with ADHD, my shared family Google Calendar is everything to me. As a 2001 baby that grew up when naming your Gmail was treated with the weight we currently treat the over and under-distressed natures of possible raw denim acquisitions. The Google chat function? In middle school, my bread and mf BUTTER was that Facebook-type software they came out with. I missed the AOL phase. Why can’t I have these things? Why does your verve for Zoom have to insult my past in this way? Also, Google Meet provides a general platform for third-rate therapists. How can we deny them that? 

So here I am, model to the people, embracing tradition. Acceptance of Zoom, honestly? Is normie. The government has convinced you to love zoom, buy Zoom stock, make jokes about Zoom in your tweets, and, if you’re about 34, read Buzzfeed articles about funny things that real people do over video chat. To accept Zoom is to accept Zoom humor, which, in my opinion, is about the equivalent of saying, “Trump is orange, haha.” Can we move beyond our normie acceptance of Zoom? Can we allow ourselves, will ourselves, and DEMAND ourselves to embrace tradition and make the real alternative option with Google Meets? Maybe y’all are not ready for that conversation. I’m prepared for it. Are you? 

Blogger B (Brooke):

There’s no question that Zoom is the OG. Google Meet was developed because Google has to reach its tentacles into every atmosphere of the internet. Google does what every large corporation does, expands into every possible market and makes the worst version of something it could possibly present. Their “ask question” function doesn’t even let one type a response back! Zoom is that indie coffee shop with the baristas with gages, Google Meet is instant coffee.

Another bonus of using Zoom is that if you don’t want anyone to see the ocean of dirty laundry covering every inch of your carpet, or that incriminating poster of your favorite band from three years ago, you can customize your background. Instead, you can choose to be in Mexico by the ocean, or amongst Saturn and Jupiter. Zoom even lets you be expressive. Instead of having to verbally express when you agree with someone’s statement, you can put a thumbs up emoji in the corner of your screen. Or, if someone in your Quest class makes a controversial statement, you can utilize a surprised face.  

Zoom also makes online learning exhilarating with the possibility of unexpected visitors joining your 8:10 philosophy course. Each day I join my class’ Zoom call, I wait in anticipation for a hijacker to enter so I can pretend I’m in a spy movie rather than juggling my laptop with my bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Another bonus to Zoom is that if your meeting host hasn’t purchased a subscription, you won’t have to attend for longer than 40 minutes. Since all of us zoomers have attention spans of about 4 microseconds, this makes learning much more palatable. Zoom is for the zoomers, Google Meets is for business men in stiff white button-downs.

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