By: Aerin Song, Amy Fu, Emily Li, Julia Gataveckas, Lana Thach, Katherine Lin, and Amy Yam
Recently, Google Hangouts was shut down for an unknown reason for users using S.SFUSD emails. To be honest, it was pretty surprising. It has been months now and we’re still waiting for Hangouts to hopefully return. Here are 5 reasons why we should have Google Hangouts back.
Google hangouts is a fast and efficient way for communication between students. It is fast and direct, and therefore very efficient. Students can communicate with each other quickly and easily.
The notifications system is another part of such efficiency. If someone is texting you, you would hear a sound, alerting you that someone is messaging you, so you can go see what it is. If it’s annoying or distracting, you can easily turn off the notification feature.
It can also be added as a chrome extension, so anywhere you are on chrome, you can text your friends back.
Google Hangouts is a very convenient way of contact, as we have been using it since last year and switched to emailing when it disappeared. We would like it back instead of getting hundreds of emails a day, piling up in our inbox.
Google Hangouts is a way of easy communication between students. Since the pandemic, Google Hangouts is what kept us together, therefore, staying in touch with one another. This form of communication is also the only way of contact for some students, as not all students have phones or their own personal Google accounts.
Similarly, with phones, not every student has other common apps like Discord and Instagram, etc.
When we text each other, we just type it out, then send it. Usually, there’s no lag and no requirement of “You have to click on (a certain icon) to send,” you can just press enter. There are often choices such as emojis & stickers to accompany the text messages.
3. General Privacy
Google hangouts ensure student’s privacy for many reasons. With the incorporation of SFUSD restrictions, Google Hangouts is safe in many ways.
One reason that makes the communication tool safe is that to contact someone, you must have their email address or contact information. This prevents attackers from randomly messaging you.
Another system that makes Hangouts safe is the Hangout invitations. For one to contact another, they can’t just message them. They have to send a hangout invite to continue to message the other person. Until the other person accepts, you cannot message them anymore unless you are on mobile. Even then, the user can ignore and block the invitation and user if it looks suspicious.
4. Fun and Kid-friendly
Other websites or apps like Discord, Tik Tok, & google groups aren't accessible or we just don’t want to use it because it’s not kid-friendly or we’re not old enough and prefer something else that’s more suitable for our group. Google Hangouts also has some implements where you can change the background of text messages into a colorful mountain scene background or trigger an animation by simply pressing a couple of keys on your keyboard and pressing enter to send it. These features can motivate and enlighten our day.
Google hangouts also doesn't have any inappropriate content or ads. It makes us feel safer and relaxed online when texting friends.
In response to the removal of Google Hangouts, students have changed to the use of emails, which often mix with educational emails. It also takes up space and uses storage. Re-emails spawn when an email reaches 100 emails. This happens every. single. day. Students have an average of about 700-3000 emails in their inbox. It’s a lot to clean out. The authors of this article have more than 200 re-emails of group-chatting, and that’s not even counting the summer emails. 20,000 emails. That’s a lot! And everyone knows what a hassle it is cleaning out your inbox. The number itself is simply terrifying!
Google Hangouts is a very efficient, safe, and kid-friendly way to keep students in contact with each other during quarantine. We miss Google Hangouts and hope that it will return, but until that day comes, and we also hope this article can convince SFUSD to unblock Hangouts.
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