Schools and workplaces alike should reconsider adopting Discord instead of Zoom. Discord was originally discarded because it was not widely known by schools or the workforce. Another reason Discord was tossed aside and replaced by Zoom was the widespread prejudice against the platform because of its “Gaming” branding. Ironically, Discord stopped branding itself as a “Gaming” platform at the start of quarantine to try to capitalize on their newfound opportunity to become every profession’s main platform of communication. These efforts were futile since their identity was already set in stone in the eyes of the public. Personal interviews with some of my friends who use Discord as their primary social media platform and use Zoom only for school all revealed a common theme: Zoom is mediocre and unstable at best when compared to Discord. Discord has established itself as a well developed, well-known and well respected app for years now, whereas Zoom can be laggy and broken, with a bad interface. Discord is better than Zoom in every way: it has many more features than Zoom, including servers, text chats, and better organization.
I asked students and teachers of WHS about their opinions of Zoom and Discord. Kazou Whateley, a junior and Vice President of the WHS Gaming Club, is one of the students who prefers Discord. “It’s convenient,” he says. “The other platforms lack flexibility, and they don’t keep chat logs and crap!” Furthermore, Whateley also said it was superior to run the WHS Gaming Club on Discord rather than on Zoom due to these features. Another student, a junior and JV soccer player, Yousuf Mufti, is not sure which platform he prefers, but he says, “Discord seems like a superior platform since it’s filled with features.” Jesse McGrath is an 11th grade English teacher who has used both Zoom and Discord frequently. I asked him his stance about Zoom as a teaching platform, to which he replied, “I think for remote learning, Zoom is as good as it gets for synchronised learning. Discord is a bit raw.” But, Mr. McGrath added that the raw capabilities of Discord are superior to the gimmicks included with Zoom. In summary, Zoom seems to have a bit of an edge when it comes to teaching but it also has faulty software and frequent crashes, and is less smooth overall. As a raw platform for hanging out and even as an alternative for teaching, Discord is superior.
Aansh Sharma is a junior at Washington High School. He grew up in Munich, Germany and Mumbai, India and then Fremont, California. This is his first year at the Hatchet. His interests are running the Gaming Club and reporting on the local news. He also likes to play video games. He would like to get a job in Computer Science to allow him to support himself. While Computer Science seems boring, he will try to have fun with it despite that, and also distract himself with gaming sometimes.