© Vinny Ribas
It is obvious that Covid-19 has changed the way the world operates. A large percentage of our daily lives are conducted differently than they were a year ago. Here are some of my observations, good and bad, about how this will affect us in the long term.
1. Communications: Since we can’t meet as often in person, we have become been forced to rely on technology to facilitate our communications. Many of us who are social extroverts and who thrive on meeting new people have become immensely frustrated. And yet, the convenience and lower cost of meeting online will make it a continuing method of communicating. Technology is pushing to overcome the frustrations of not being able to have coffee sop meetings, and I predict we will see incredible strides in this area.
The truth is, tech will never be able to replace the connection you make when meeting people in person, shaking their hands, giving them a hug and/or sincerely showing our affection for each other. Go ahead and meet online. But when it’s safe, take the meeting offline and complete the human connection.
2. Workplace: I believe the workplace has been forever transformed by the pandemic. Again, technology ramped up to meet the needs of the global workforce. While some things will be temporary solutions, others are definitely here to stay. Welcome to the hybrid economy. We now have better means of reaching and building relationships with people across the globe. That won’t end. We have the means for people to meet no matter where they live. This makes it easier for more people to be included in the conversation. It expands the reach for many sales people.
That said, there is still an undeniable energy that is born of spontaneous rather than pre-planned masterminding. And that is where most technologies fail. They do not enable or spark the kind of group creativity and connectivity that comes from water cooler conversations.
3. Social Life: The pandemic has directly affected almost every aspect of social life. This includes playing or watching sports, playing music or watching musicians live, dining out and other popular forms of social gatherings. Much of it has been forced to be adapted to online mediums, and often unsuccessfully. Nothing replaces the high that you get from attending a concert or a football game with thousands of others. So instead, we’ve seen the development of more social networks that attempt to bring random people together to start and build a conversation with the hopes of it becoming a viral topic. For social people, these networks are a poor replacement for the energy of group gatherings, But they are here to stay.
That said, physical social gatherings are incorporating more and more technology to expand their reach and enhance their energy. For example, concerts big and small will continue to be broadcast live so the artist can reach people in the geographic areas the band is not planning to travel to.
The bottom line is that covid-19, for all the damage it has done, has also stimulated the development of many new inventions and tech advancements that will now be engrained in our daily lives. The combination is both scary and exhilarating at the same time. As long as we keep a balance and don’t lose the need and desire to meet others in person, the new normal might be even more thrilling and exhilarating than the old one.
© Vinny Ribas