In times of the coronavirus pandemic, could technology be the answer? As more and more countries are going on lockdown and we are all forced to stay in self-quarantine, we may be facing a new era of world order.
Since the self-quarantine started, hands down, it was no easy task. I constantly have an overwhelming desire to constantly sleep, eat and binge-watch, however, that wasn’t the only case. I also managed to build a closer relationship with my sister, become more productive with my writing and was actively trying to have a social life.
If anything, in times of isolation, I actually find it much easier to have a social life. Our need to want to connect to people and stay active has made the search for events and social activities much more alive. From online yoga and art classes to collective movie nights, all of this is made possible with the help of technology.
This collective initiative can be seen everywhere with different digital events and celebrities holding online quarantine concerts; which looks to remind us of the true nature of why technology has been invented in the first place. There is no doubt that technology has mixed reviews, at times causing more damage than good, but in times of a pandemic, it is showing greater results than expected.
As a remote worker, I have become used to an online lifestyle, however, when this pandemic started, I realized how lucky I was to be working for a tech company. Seeing how we focused on digitalization, you start to realize in times like these, technology really rules.
With all operations going online, yes, it was not easy for everybody in the beginning, but you realize that a lot of our work is easily manageable through online activities, and even when handling our clients, since we sell digital solutions anyways, it was not that challenging to follow up with customers most of whom we have had to work remotely as well.
Having a background of working through the means of technology and digital operations has made it simple enough to adapt from an office environment to an online one. In fact, this is not only the case with my company, if we look at many businesses, there has always been some aspects of online activity and/or remote working style, the coronavirus situation just made us have to expand on that.
So, work is running normally, while social interactions are shifting online. In fact, using the Internet and digital connections today has made technology more productive and useful compared to when people were meeting face-to-face and the Internet was just full of trolls – not that trolls don’t still exist in today’s online world.
Technology is being used to its full advantage in isolation and I think we can start to see how different businesses and industries are starting to adopt this method. Even online healthcare providers are providing live online sessions for tips on how to stay healthy.
A state of lonelinessYes, social distancing is an important part of battling the coronavirus pandemic, but it will come with a certain aspect of mental health problems as well. As stated by Eric Klinenberg, a New York University sociologist, “…we’ve also entered a new period of social pain. There’s going to be a level of social suffering related to isolation and the cost of social distancing that very few people are discussing yet.”
The worries that social isolation may cause to the community is a real concern, but as we are getting deeper into this quarantine life, we can start to see the positive impacts technology can cause for such a lifestyle.
It seems that technology really can be the solution to the era of social pain that Klinenberg has mentioned. With that in mind, perhaps it is smart to remember some important points of how technology can help in this time of loneliness.
Accept a digitalized work process
As I have mentioned with my own experience working remotely, going digital in conducting your work process can be very beneficial for your business. It allows you to continue everyday work activities without slowing down. This is especially important to remember for all industries, as having means of handling business online will ensure that your workload and progress can be maintained.
I understand that not all industries can depend on online processing, but to have online backup, such as the efforts many yoga studios, gyms and educational institutions are doing, can go a long way. By going digital, they can ensure customers and students can still receive the best education, as well as stay physically fit.
Socially active through technology
As previously mentioned as well, many communities are now starting to come together through digital activities, whether game nights, movie nights, and more. Technology is allowing communities to come together and still maintain a real-life relationship with loved ones.
In fact, thanks to technology, it is much easier to create a social connection with people, and your social life might actually become busier than ever. It’s just a matter of thinking creatively and having that desire to reach out to those you care about.
A life revolved around technology
Our lives already revolve around technology as we know it but being in isolation has put this status in a more prominent light and has made the power of technology reach its main potential – connecting people.
It is time to embrace that we would need to adapt and embrace the life in the hands of technology, which was pretty much what we were doing anyways before the pandemic. The faster we try to suit to this lifestyle, at least for the time being, the faster we can go on with our lives.
There is no doubt that the coronavirus has devastating impacts on the world, and yes, things will get harder before it gets easier, but if we look at the silver lining of things, this virus is forcing technology to be used for its main potential. Digital tools can help us to strengthen real-world ties when used correctly, so instead of passively consuming, we should always remember to actively participate in changing times.