The internet is a manifestation of creativity and innovation. This invention brought about significant changes in all aspects of human life. Though internet use dates back to 1989, in the year 2000, users increased from 413 to over 3.4 billion in 2016. Today, the internet marks one of the fastest-growing and most transformative technologies.
In appreciating the vital role it plays, the United Nations proposed that internet services access as part of human rights.
People can access a lot of information in all areas at the click of a button. Communication across continents is improved and easier than ever before, not to mention reduced costs. There are many services available online and more opportunities available, thanks to the development. However, the internet has never been more crucial than during the corona pandemic crisis for the following reasons.
More People Working from Home
Many countries implemented a complete lockdown policy as a measure to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. This necessary but unfortunate decision has affected many businesses and almost brought economies to their knees. Health workers, law enforcement units, firefighters, media personnel, and engineers are among the few professions allowed to work across the globe.
The internet has, however, become a lifesaver in this crisis. Companies in various sectors have continued operating online, placing a huge emphasis on a fast and reliable broadband connection. Where possible, employees are working from home, keeping businesses in operation, including attending virtual meetings. This resolve to work from home across the world has seen a new level of increase in internet usage. Automatically, there is a surge in numbers due to more people moving services online.
E-learning as a Result of Schools Closing
E-learning has never made more sense than during this corona pandemic. Learning centers that had incorporated technology, creating introducing things like student portal, virtual classrooms, among others, continued with learning online. Other institutions that were yet to implement online or distance learning have had to use any available resources within short notice.
With schools suddenly closed, teachers have to conduct classes virtually. Sending lessons and engaging students through various platforms online like e-mail, Google classrooms, WhatsApp videos, among others, is now a norm even in less developed countries.
Learning in most institutions, from kindergarten to college-level are conducted virtually, causing an increase in internet use for both students and teachers all over the world.
Parents are also increasingly going online to obtain educational materials and resources to equip them for homeschooling during the pandemic.
Resort to E-Commerce
Like other organizations, most businesses have shifted online. Now, there are more stores actively selling online than at any time before. Supermarkets now offer delivery services to supply their customers with essential commodities.
Pharmacies and other stores that sell vital goods have apps and platforms that allow their clients to order goods as they deliver products.
Unlike other days, online courses are critical and on-demand today. People selling eBooks and other courses are suddenly experiencing increased demand. All these products available online have increased e-commerce use, translating to more internet use.
Increased Consumption of Global News Content and the Need for Updates
Everyone wants to know what is happening around the world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The world has never been a village before, like now. Countries are intricately connected that when one nation is affected, there is a ripple effect.
Students’ travel far for college education in foreign countries. Families’ members live apart as a result of intermarriage, jobs, and other engagements, forcing them to settle in countries far away. This makes people want to keep up with what is happening around the world as it may affect their kin.
Media houses across the world are working to keep the world informed. The easiest way to access news from different countries is through logging on to respective sites. There are also options to stream the news and events live online. The use of the internet is at an all-time high as many people follow on global news updates from all locations.
Corona pandemic has thrown the world in limbo. Besides medics and researchers, people knew little about the prevalent virus until recently. Easy access to the internet allows the masses to get more information. Symptoms and effects of coronavirus are among the most searched for keywords on the internet today.
People are eager to learn more about the pandemic for better management. Everyone wants to stay alive, hence searching the internet for ways to survive. The more you know, the better. You would want to find foods to boost your immune against COVID, treatment, and the best management measures.
As the world is on lockdown, parents are looking for ways to keep their children occupied as well as many other things. Generally, there is increased research online on various matters related to the pandemic and as a result of the limited movements. Search for knowledge has seen more internet use like never before.
Social Media and Entertainment
Apart from the people working from home, most people are stuck in the houses for 24 hours with little to do. Increased anxiety levels caused by these unprecedented times make many opt for entertainment. You can only take in so much negative news, and social media sites are a great distraction.
Social media platforms are also essential communication tools, as well as entertainment avenues. Internet users can stream programs, access movies, and listen to various songs for entertainment purposes.
Staying indoors is lonely and depressing, especially for those living alone. Applications like WhatsApp, and Facebook, among others, allow people to keep in touch through video calls or instant messages with friends and family anywhere in the world.
The internet is making the corona pandemic lockdown manageable in many ways. Despite the limited movement, there are a lot of activities online. Technology has now made it possible for people to continue with an aspect of life virtually.
Many organizations and businesses are entirely dependent on the internet now. The internet affects almost every aspect of life, both private and public. However, the corona pandemic has registered increased internet use more than ever before. It is possible that even after the dust settles, and people recover from the menace, habits will change as many will opt to continue using the internet for many things.