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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UH chapter.

By Vivianna Cuevas Ruiz

The year 2020 has taken a toll on us all. For students, virtual school is our new reality, and Zoom has become our primary form of instruction. Although it is arguably the best option for students given the current state of the world, some have found it hard to adapt. We have all seen it by now: the viral videos of embarrassing moments and technical mishaps on Zoom. A quick search on Twitter or Tiktok will display hundreds of them. It makes us paranoid about everything. Usually, these situations occur because of the simplest mistakes. A slight slip of the hand on the keyboard could lead to an insurmountable moment of ridicule. So, here are some neat facts about Zoom to make your virtual hellscape a little less tedious.


Fact 1: The chats are safe

Don’t hesitate to private message someone in the Zoom chat. The host of the meeting, which is usually a professor, is not able to see messages between participants. Feel free to send sneaky notes at your heart’s desire.

Fact 2: Pin whatever you want!

Worrying about others being able to see what participants video you pin is not unheard of either. The good news is that pinning someone’s video on your screen doesn’t notify the class, the host, nor the participant you pinned. It’s for your viewing pleasure.

Fact 3: The keyboard shortcuts will betray you

Steer clear of the keyboard when fumbling around during class. While on mute, these default shortcuts will unmute you.
● Pressing and holding down the spacebar
● Pressing the spacebar once
● ALT + A for PCs
● Cmd + Shift + A for Macs
Avoid this by going into the Audio Settings and unchecking the option that allows you to use the spacebar to unmute. For safe measure, you can also check a box that will have you automatically muted once joining a meeting.

Now, if your camera is off, these shortcuts will turn it back on.
● ALT + V for PCs
● Cmd + Shift + V for Macs

To avoid having your camera turn on without your knowledge, go into the video settings to uncheck the relevant boxes again. While in the settings, you can also disable the global shortcuts option.

These are just a few reminders to keep in mind during your next Zoom meeting. They are the most significant ones to know. So, don’t let your worries hold you back and make the best of this fatigued situation that is virtual schooling. Go out and live freely on Zoom.

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