Internet in the Post Pandemic Era
Internet is a tool that is being used in many walks of life to improve our lifestyle and bring the quality of living by providing ease and convenience. This ease and convenience are because of the limitless benefits that the internet has to offer and its seamless integration into various walks of life. Now internet is such an influence in our lives that it seems impossible to live without it, today. All things whether related to our personal or professional lives have a hint of the internet in them. The whole world is revolving around the internet, which is why we see there are currently 4.66 Billion active internet users globally. This usage number is enough to prove the influence of the internet in the current landscape and we can’t imagine a world without the internet. Moreover, ever since the COVID pandemic shocked the world and the infrastructure was falling apart. in times like these, it was the internet that gave the world the necessary support to sustain daily activities.
We see that currently, so many activities have become internet dependent, we saw trends like work from home, online classes, virtual meetings, online businesses, and many other activities like these related to both personal and work life being conducted over the internet. In this desperate situation when the internet became such a crucial necessity like food and water, many of the world’s governments and service providers also stepped up to provide grants and offer discounts on internet services so that people can remain connected to this essential service. A major example of this came in the form of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program by the US government that provided qualified users with a $50 grant to cover the cost of their internet bill. Subsequently, Spectrum promotions were launched by one of the biggest internet service providers in the US, Spectrum, which offered huge discounts on their internet services.
Internet During the Pandemic
COVID pandemic is termed as one of the greatest health crises of modern times, the reason behind that was it came suddenly and proved to be a very dangerous virus that spread through human interaction. That was the reason that it gripped the whole world in such a short period. Another problem that was associated with it was that the virus spread with human contact so the immediate response to stop the spread was to limit the human-to-human interaction. This was achieved by shutting every place which had a large number of people in closed vicinities like restaurants, workspaces, offices, cinemas, schools, and in extreme cases, curfews and lockdowns were imposed in some countries. This seriously hampered the day-to-day activities as people were unable to go to schools, offices, and their businesses.
In times like these, the internet came as a savior and provided digital means of carrying out all these tasks. Work from home and online classes were being carried out over the internet, food business entirely shifted online through delivery apps, closure of cinemas gave birth to a new medium like streaming apps, which premiered new movies every month, and every other activity also found a way to work online. That is the reason why internet usage was increased by 2.3 percent in the year 2020, an increase never witnessed since the invention of the internet. This rise was also because people who thought they don’t need the internet had to adopt it inadvertently. This digital way of life also gave rise to some quite convenient trends, and even when we are hopefully looking at an end of this pandemic, some trends which were adopted during the pandemic are here to stay.
Modern Trends and the Post Pandemic Era
With the introduction of various vaccinations and precautions people took, hopefully, we are looking at the end of this pandemic. Along the way, this pandemic has taught us a lot of things, the trends of working and learning that were introduced during this period have gained rapid popularity among the masses and now some of these trends are going to become a part of our lives in the future. Talking about some of those aspects, here we are going to discuss some of the trends that are here to stay post-pandemic.
Hybrid Work Model
One thing which the corporate sector learned from this pandemic is that the productive working of employees doesn’t depend on the workplace. The concept of work from home has done wonders for many organizations as previously many companies spent way too much on their operating cost. Not only this cost was reduced significantly but also the productivity of employees was drastically increased. This increase came because of employee satisfaction due to flexible work schedules and cost-cutting in many ways including commuting to work. This has led many organizations to adopt a hybrid work model, the hybrid work model would be a combination of on-site and remote working in which for example employees will come to the office for three days a week and will work from home for the remaining two days. Many organizations have already adopted this trend and it will gradually increase. This is one of the trends that are here to stay even after the pandemic.
Another thing which the pandemic had made people realize is that education doesn’t depend on the place in the age of the internet. Anyone can get an education as long as they have the will to pursue it, the concept of remote education is not new but the pandemic has made us realize that this trend works phenomenally and can be characterized as a normal way to get an education. Especially in foreign universities where overseas students cannot afford to manage their living and educational expenses at the same time. Online education proved to be a blessing in situations like these and now many institutes are planning to make this a standard for international students to get online education from prestigious educational institutes while being in their own country.
Streaming apps were also used at their full potential during the pandemic and this trend originated as a form of cost-cutting because people were unable to afford costly cable subscriptions, they turned to stream and live TV apps which were quite convenient and cheap as compared to cable. This trend was named cord-cutting and many people got rid of their cable setups in favor of internet-based means of entertainment. The potential of cord-cutting is evident from these facts that streaming is estimated to take over 50 percent of the TV market in the USA by 2025. This is a trend that made people realize they can get similar services over the internet while paying a fraction of the original cost, making this a thing that is only going to grow even after the pandemic ends.
Need is the mother of invention, this statement proved true especially in recent times when the pandemic drove people to find new ways and technologies to do daily tasks. This also invented many new trends like the ones mentioned above that provided ease and convenience in user’s life. Thus many trends started of need during COVID but have become such an essential part of life that they are here to stay even after the pandemic ends and the major driving force behind all these activities is the internet.