Banner: Thank Goodness for the Internet
Amanda Marcotte, High Seas

Amanda Marcotte

March 19, 2020

Thank Goodness for the Internet

It was only a couple months ago that we were seeing a trend in bemoaning the lack of human contact that has come with smartphone ubiquity. People were unplugging. Having digital detoxes. Being purposeful about scheduling more time with friends and less time in the digital world.

And then, wham.

Social distancing.

Suddenly all those tools that were distracting us from meaningful connection have become the life rafts of, well, meaningful connection.

  • Social Media
  • Messengers & Chat Apps
  • Ecommerce
  • Streaming Services
  • Video Conferencing & Screenshare
  • Collaborative Digital Workspaces

One of my colleagues remarked that this is like living through war time. To which I responded that at least in war time you could hang out with your neighbors.

But imagine this pandemic took hold 20 years ago, ‘isolation’ had a much lonelier definition. How much harder would it be for us to keep our doors shut to our extended family and closest friends? How many lives are being saved right now with online grocery ordering and e-commerce delivery?

Despite all the very real horrors of this time, I hope we are smart enough to build on what we are learning. I hope this forced deep digital dive catalyzes growth and innovation in what technology can do. I hope more companies realize the benefits of allowing employees to work from home. I hope this drives more progress toward digital services that unite us rather than distract us. And I really hope the well of new hilarious memes is vast and deep because we all need a little humor these days.

What do you wish you could do digitally while you’re practicing self-isolation? What kinds of apps and services would be a game-changer for your particular situation? What weird things did you find yourself googling as you FaceTimed with your grandma or your old college roommate?

I’m curious to see where this goes, and in which directions we collectively choose to leverage technology to serve our needs.

Amanda Marcotte, High Seas
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