As we near the one year mark of quarantine in March, people have been spending more time on electronics. Previously, before COVID-19, people were able to go out and talk to friends and family, but now, everything is online. Whether it be through Instagram, Zoom, TikTok, Snapchat or Facetime, everyone has been communicating and keeping contact with each other through the internet and social media. Society was once full of in-person communication, but under the restrictions of COVID-19 and social distancing, it is harder to see a lot of people at once while staying safe. Thus, society has become digitized.
Throughout COVID-19, many movements have begun to spread, such as the BLM movement. Students have been spreading awareness through social media, reposting posts on Instagram, sharing TikToks and making some that inform others of the things happening around the world and in the US. Many of us have become more educated throughout the digitalization of society, as we have more free time to check the news and find out what’s happening. Although COVID-19 has given society a lot of restrictions in communication, it’s given people a lot of benefits. But there have also been some disadvantages of the extra internet time for many people.
Along with most of communication being online, school has also been transferred online. Previously, students had worksheets and books they could bring home and write on, but now all assignments are given to students through MCPS classroom and people have been spending even more time online in order to complete assignments, study for tests and do well in school. Although there have been many benefits to doing school online, such as the teachers being more relaxed and having less work, some may have problems with accessing the internet in order to get schoolwork done, and not being able to focus during Zoom lessons. For adults working at home, the circumstances could be challenging. For those with families, staying at home could be potentially distracting during work hours, affecting their performance on their work life.
For many businesses, however, COVID-19 has done more than affect how and where they work. According to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), about 43 percent of businesses have had to temporarily close down, due to not as much business and concerns about their employee’s health. For the businesses that have managed to stay open and in business, there’s the concern for their workers' safety, as they are at a higher risk with COVID-19.
There’s also the concern for what will happen after COVID-19 passes, how will schools and workplaces adjust to the change after spending so much time online. There’s no doubt that some people will prefer to stay at home and work, after getting used to their new surroundings and being more comfortable when working at home, and some companies will have to come to agreements with workers and contractors to figure out new ways to help accommodate their workers needs. The Future Forum Research found that 12 percent of 4,7000 workers want to go back to work, while 72 percent want a hybrid of office work and remote work for after COVID.
While COVID-19 has digitized many things and made many people reevaluate their former lives, when the pandemic passes there are going to be many changes to help accommodate and better society.