If you would’ve asked me several months ago, “How much tech is too much tech?” My answer would have involved artificial intelligence and robots that have intermingled with society, forming a futuristic reality. I would have expressed concern about the implications of allowing too much technology into our lives.
If you’d ask me that same question today, “How much tech is too much tech?” my answer would be vastly different than how I envisioned responding to it months ago. Now I’d say, “There’s no such thing as too much tech.” Let me stop and clarify my point. I don’t think there’s enough of a specific kind of technology. Thanks to the global pandemic of COVID-19, the need for connectivity technologies has been brought to the forefront.
The need for reliable in-home internet access for all, more virtual meeting options, and increased digital communications have become critical during this time. While everyone is sheltering-in-place, it’s never been more apparent how important a stable home internet connection is. The option to visit your local cafÃ© to hop on their free wi-fi isn’t available right now. Rural America is underserved in receiving reliable internet service, while many urban networks are currently overloaded with high volumes of heavy users that often compete for bandwidth. It’s clear that a dependable internet network must be available for all.
As in-person hangouts transitioned into virtual hangouts, we saw an increase in the use of platforms like Zoom and Go To Meeting. While there are many useful tools to choose from, I’ve found myself wishing for virtual meeting tools that offer additional functionality. And while I do love that you can change your screen background to have it appear that you are on a beautiful tropical island, we need virtual meeting tools that offer a variety of options for those that use it for more than just business meetings. Many of us find ourselves virtually hanging out with friends. More affordable and secure virtual platform options would make it easier for everyone to connect in a variety of ways.
We have all received a flood of information since countries have been locked down. Our email inboxes have become filled with messages from companies we subscribe to – including some we had forgotten subscribing to in the first place. While it might’ve seemed overwhelming at first, digital communications have been a meaningful way for everyone to receive vital information straight from the source. This form of communication lets us know how organizations will support and build connections during this time. It’s vital that communications through this channel be often and meaningful.
The global COVID-19 epidemic has caused many of our plans and priorities to completely switch gears. One thing that remains is the need for us to feel safe and connected to others. I believe we’ll come out of this on the other side focused on technological advances that bring us closer together, despite the miles between us.