So, you thought you used the internet a lot before Covid…how about now? There is simply no getting away from the fact we all went very online during lockdown and for a lot of people that change will never be reversed. Because of lockdown people turned to the online world to provide so many things but will it stay that way and is it a bad thing if it does?
Our Online Life
One of the biggest factors in all of this for parents has been home schooling. Some people say it was fun, most people agree it was tough and that those people are probably exaggerating the “fun” aspect. But regardless of how it all went there is no doubt the internet was critical in making any kind of learning happen. From getting lessons sent via e mail from schools to videos made by teachers and from looking up things on YouTube to BBC Bitesize the online world has been a life saver.
Grown Up Learning
It’s not just the kids who have benefitted from the internet in terms of leaning. Lockdown certainly drove us to get creative and a lot of people turned to online learning for cookery ideas, gardening, DIY and so much more. Tonnes of people started learning an instrument, or a language and this cant be a bad thing. More and more of us turned to online learning during lockdown, but will it carry on? Well, it is hard to say at this stage but there will always be a good chunk of those that start and won’t finish. But for many people the excitement of learning something new is going to stick!
During the depths of lockdown online food shopping was a tricky thing to do. If you were able to get a slot and you were not shielding then some people thought it was a little mean to use it, shop shaming was kind of a thing. But once the supermarkets increased capacity and were able to offer it to everyone online food shopping became the norm for more people that ever. Yes, the substitutions can be really annoying but there are some serious benefits. Online food shopping is slower and more steady, kids don’t scream at you or ask for things and you can plan meals properly. It can be cheaper because you don’t get caught by end of isle deals for biscuits none of us really need. It saves fuel and time and it does feel a bit safer in terms of Covid-19. Data suggests that online shopping makes us spend a little less because we have time to check prices and compare items of clothing and larger purchases as well as food and drink products. Online shopping was big before, its bigger now and it’s not likely to go away.
“Let’s zoom!” We have all said it and it seems like we may well all say it a lot more in the future. Before lockdown the idea of group video calls in any situation outside of work would have been rather odd for all but the geekiest of us. Most people didn’t even know what Zoom was, but now look at it! are doing it, grandparents are doing it and so is everyone in between. Its not just chatting either, people are cooking together, eating together, doing quizzes, reading stories and pretty much anything else you can think of. For a lot of us with friends to far away to see very often lockdown Zoom calls meant we hung out more than we used too and it’s likely this will carry on. Obviously, there are other video chat options but there are other search engines and none of us use them either. Video conferencing brings people together, it will never replace face to face but when local meet ups are back it seems we will still be using zoom a lot for everything else.
Working From Home
This is a big one, working from home was a kind of luxury thing that we got to do sometimes, or some people got to do all the time and other people got jealous. Now, lots of people are doing it and they don’t want to go back! More and more companies are announcing permanent working from home options for staff and this has to be a good thing. While working from home can be stressful, finding space and quiet are challenges for some, generally it means more time with family and less travelling. Less travelling is good for us and the environment.
We are all hoping we get back to normal, but we are fast forgetting what normal is. Will be feel odd hugging each other and not wearing a mask? Perhaps. But there are some positive things about the online growth during lockdown. We are communicating more, we are learning and trying new things, we are working from home and maybe even shopping smarter!