Tech in the time of the coronavirus

Date:29 April 2020 Author: Leila Stein Tags:,

The coronavirus has been compared to many pandemics, but most often the 1918 Spanish Influenza. However, the world today has changed dramatically over the last 102 years. What has changed the most is technology.

Many have pointed out how hard the lockdowns would have been without Netflix, others have pointed out that a lucky few can still work with a reliable internet connection and others have said how technology has allowed us to help more.

Here are some the ways tech has impacted the way we are dealing with the time of COVID-19:

Keeping connected

There is no doubt that while it’s hard to be without face-to-face contact, messaging platforms and the exponential growth of platforms like Zoom and House Party show how people are still keeping connected.

Previously a conference calling application used mostly by businesses, Zoom has become a social hangout as well as a place for business, with a spike in daily users growth from just 10 million to 200 million in three months.

Keeping working

This does not apply to everyone and despite some still being able to work, most are suffering under the severe economic restrains the pandemic has put on the world. But for comparisons sake, many corporate businesses and their office workers have been able to continue their work online, something unthinkable in previous global pandemics.

This phenomenon has been noted since the start of social distancing, with many think pieces written on the changing nature of work and a possible acceptance of working from home once the virus has been controlled. Whether this comes to be is to be seen but past pandemics have proven key in shifting the way society works to fit “new normals.”

Keeping fit

It might be a personal opinion but the pandemic might also prove the (thankful) end of the communal gym. Although online workout apps and YouTube videos have been around for ages, their popularity has spiked as people can’t attend classes or workout among other sweaty bodies.

From daily yoga apps to group live classes, gyms and individuals have been finding ways to not only keep their love of fitness alive but also monetise these platforms.

Keeping afloat

Technology has not only helped some stay working and connected to family and friends, it has also allowed those who can to contribute to the wider community.

From Instagram creating fundraising opportunities to Facebook groups becoming a collection point for donations of food, masks, and money, the idea of community originally envisioned by social media is becoming a reality.

Although ways to donate and contribute could have existed without social media or technology, it has never been easier to get the word out, collect funds through multiple platforms and EFT’s and to create effective systems of distribution during a crisis.

Keeping entertained

Netflix saw a massive spike in users as people sign-up to experience the joy of perpetual scrolling to figure out they don’t know what to watch. Others are enjoying online gaming apps which let them play with their friends while social distancing from their homes.

While it was previously thought to be bad that technology had brought us all indoors, we are currently quite thankful for these small enjoyments to give us a laugh and take our minds off our current hardships.

Not keeping up

So far it’s been discussed how technology has helped keep us going during this hard time, but this has mostly been software. It has to be acknowledged that for the hardware side of the industry it has been more of struggle.

From factories closing resulting in halted production to the cancellation of multiple launches, selling hardware at this point in time is not easy.

Image: Unsplash



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