Zoom calls with ghosts

This year has brought many changes, especially how we communicate and have meetings, and that includes agriculture. Charles Denney shares how some uninvited guests may be making appearances on zoom calls.

It is our new method to meet during the pandemic -- a Zoom chat. Safety first when face-to-face is not wise, but when we Zoom, who else might be listening in? Could the wiring be warped, or is there a ghost in the machine?

Justin Crowe, the director of Tennessee 4-H states, “There have been times where I hear a voice coming and no one’s mouth is moving. They’re just looking at me, almost in a deadpan stare. It’s weird and it’s odd.”

Crowe has been trapped in Zoom jail for months now, but he is not just tired of Zoom, he is a little creeped out by it.

“Of course, I work in one of the creepiest building in Knoxville anyway, Morgan Hall, and so maybe it’s part of that, I don’t know, but I’ll be at the computer, sitting in on one of these virtual meetings and all of a sudden the screen will go black,” he states. “It’s as if it’s complete darkness, and then five seconds later, it pops back up. It’s kind of creepy.”

Creepy and annoying, since the pandemic started, Zoom subscriptions have grown 350 percent. While we are thankful technology allows us to continue our work, many of us are just zoomed out.

Well, almost everyone is tired of the tech. “I mean my experience has been that Zoom is pretty rock solid,” according to Mike Stanley, a IT expert with UT Ag.

Mike oversees a number of virtual seances, or rather Zoom meetings. Although, he even says that Zoom has its unpredictable moments.

“The Zoom sound and video can go a little crazy,” he states. “I’ve heard that pictures can freeze. I’ve heard from time to time, folks getting into Zoom meetings that you didn’t necessarily want them.”

Humans crash Zooms, and perhaps other entities invade as well. It has been said that spirits get lonely too, and since a lot of work places are empty these days, ghosts may have to find new ways to haunt.

“You know we can never rule out the supernatural. I would be more comfortable with a technical reason, but you never know,” Stanley adds.

Perhaps all the wacky stuff on zoom could be linked to otherworldly beings, intent on messing with our meetings. So, this Halloween season, here’s wishing you the best as you log on, and that nothing will terrorize your laptops.