Right now, there are few things one can think of that sound particularly positive from this whole confinement mess, but during the last two decades, a series of technological advancements have crept into our daily lives and altered them immensely. From the moment this pesky pandemic has been thrust upon us, we have realized how much of our life is built around technological feats that aren’t even of legal drinking age.
They have become so normal and commonplace in our existence we barely acknowledge they are there at all. A lot of them seem like they have been with us forever, to the point most of us can’t even place when they were actually introduced. But right now, almost all these advancements have made an unprecedented situation like this pandemic and its subsequent confinement far more easily manegeable than it would have been a mere couple of decades ago.
Here are a few of them that have undoubtedly helped us pull through this whole ordeal, and will surely rise to the occasion if there are any more to come.
Fewer and fewer people remember, but there was a time that you either communicated directly in person, or you wrote a letter that possibly, with a bit of luck, took a couple of weeks to reach its destination (assuming it didn’t get lost during the trip). While internet communication had been around for quite a while, it was in the exclusive domain of enthusiasts and other niche users. It was not until the introduction of Facebook in 2005 that the way in which humans communicated began its irreversible transformation. It was so easy, even the grandparents could have an account.
And that is where the real value of social media has shined through during these dire times. It has enabled us to continue in contact with our friends, families, colleagues, and anybody we needed to. More importantly, it has helped vulnerable children to continue their education, or senior citizens to check in on their loved ones any time they need it.
It’s hard to imagine lockdown without Social Media.
Streaming is like a Swiss army knife for the modern age. It can help us find solutions to almost any problem we face, and will also keep us from going completely bananas in lockdown. Not so far back, in the early noughties, streaming video was a luxury afforded to the lucky ones wealthy enough to pay for massive internet speeds, and even in this case the available content was scarce and of poor quality.
Fast forward a few years, and the amount of stuff that can be streamed on the internet is mindmelting. From silly 5 second clips that can light up your day, to colossal TV shows that run for hours and hours. From a small tutorial on how to check the oil levels in your car, to full-blown deep dives and online courses that can help you achieve the dream of becoming an astrophysicist from the comfort of your come.
During this lockdown, people have been streaming in such huge quantities, internet providers had to cap the speeds in certain areas to avoid being overwhelmed. If anything, that is a sign of how important streaming is in our lives, and its role in keeping our minds off a situation that is well beyond our control
This one isn’t really for this lockdown as the technology is still in its infancy, but seeing the rapid developments it is going through, it could very well be a life saver if we face this situation again in the near future.
Comercially available (and affordable) 3D printers are generally considered a novelty mainly used to print toy models and other rather unimportant bits and pieces. But as soon as you get into industrial or specialized 3D printers, these machines can pump out almost anything. Car parts, medical equipment, tools, furniture, and some folks have even printed houses. Yep, that’s right.
In a situation where people are experiencing movement restriction and the associated shortages in supply chains, the ability to print everyday objects just by downloading a pattern online can help people keep even more self-sufficient and avoid exposing themselves to additional risk.
There are plenty of other pieces of tech and quality of life advancements that have eased this lockdown for a lot of people. Make sure to remember them and appreciate them, because one never knows when they’ll be the very things that will keep us all from going a bit weird.