As I write these words in June 2020, the global pandemic is in full force. At some point, things will go back to normal — although most likely in dribbles. Zoom’s suite of tools, however, will remain vital work and educational staples for the foreseeable future.

Make no mistake, though: Hundreds of millions of people are using Zoom in remarkable and innovative ways every day. Weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, dance parties, and poker games have all taken place on Zoom.

Cooking and eating meals

Restaurants typically run on slim profit margins — often along the lines of 5 percent. Operating at 25-percent capacity doesn’t cut it. To this end, many have begun holding Zoom cooking classes and online tastings.

Visiting sick friends and family members

Faced with travel restrictions, many people are “visiting” their loved ones confined to hospital beds in Zoom. No, it’s not the same as the real thing, but checking in on a dear friend or family member via Zoom beats a simple phone call.


With so many bars, restaurants, and coffee shops closed, where do two people safely meet? How about on Zoom?

Sharing a few drinks over Happy Hour

I’ll cop to doing this a few times with my college friends. Again, I’d prefer to talk trash with them in person but. Left with no other in-person alternative, though, Zoom more than serves this purpose.

Zoom happy hour ©giuseppelombardo/

Playing brick-and-mortar games

I asked few of my former students if they used Zoom for social gatherings. Here’s one particularly colorful response: I play trivia games with my family in England every Saturday via Zoom.

Sure, some games translate better than others, but you’d be surprised at how many games work reasonably well on Zoom.

Playing video games

You may not be able to use Twitch to play your favorite video game. If not, then give Zoom a shot.

Watching movies and TV shows

As a kid, I would routinely watch Jeopardy! with my family. I’d sometimes go an entire show without answering a single question correctly.

Although I live across the country from my family, I can now relive that experience with them via Zoom. (At least now I can answer about 40 percent of the questions correctly.) In fact, plenty of folks use Meetings & Chat to view movies and binge-watch series.

Performing stand-up comedy

Few things beat the feeling of laughing in unison with complete strangers as a comedian tears it up. In the midst of a pandemic, fans cannot see Gary Gulman or Neal Brennan live. Until then, however, I might watch some comedians perform via Zoom. Learn more.

Staying fit

Since the age of 18, I have religiously gone to the gym. Broken fingers, the cold, and work-related commitments haven’t stopped me from getting my sweat on. Yeah, I’m a gym rat—and plenty of people can relate.

Left without physical gyms, many people began working out over Zoom.

Holding miscellaneous parties

A Zoomie told me that her in-laws held a weekly dance party on Zoom. Virtual graduations, birthday parties, and other formerly physical gatherings are taking place via the world’s most popular videoconferencing tool.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Phil Simon is a frequent keynote speaker, dynamic trainer, recognized technology authority, and college professor-for-hire. He is the award-winning author of ten books, most recently Slack For Dummies and Zoom For Dummies. He consults organizations on matters related to communications, strategy, data, and technology. His contributions have appeared in The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and many other prominent media sites. He hosts the podcast Conversations About Collaboration.

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