Technology has changed our world in an unbelievable number of ways.
These days the majority of people in developed countries have almost constant access to the internet via our smartphones, and digital advances have altered the way we do everything from shop and bank to socialize, learn and entertain ourselves. We often see stories in the media about how technology is shortening our attention spans or having a negative impact on our relationships, however, the truth is that technology is also bringing us together – something we’ve seen more clearly than ever before during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are just some of the ways in which it’s doing so.
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In the past, our options for being part of a community were pretty much limited to the people we lived near to or worked with. Thanks to digital technology, however, we can now connect with people all over the world from the comfort of our own home. Whether you’re looking to chat with other people who share an interest in a niche hobby, or you’ve just moved to a new area and want to make some friends, the online world makes it so much easier.
In some cases, the physical world and online world are blending. With a website such as Nextdoor, for example, you can connect digitally with people who live in your neighborhood. Alternatively, you can use apps to connect with potential new friends online before making the decision to meet in person. Online communities sometimes suffer from issues such as cyberbullying due to the possibility for anonymity, however, campaigns such as Nextdoor’s racial profiling prevention strategies are helping to combat this.
Technology is also bringing people together in a professional sense. Whether you work from home or not, online collaboration tools make it easier for people to work together on different projects and share ideas. This could be by helping people in different office buildings to work on the same document, or connecting musicians and artists in different countries to collaborate on creative work. In a similar vein, technology has made it much easier for people to create and publish content to share with the world, whether it’s independent music, self-published novels, or Instagram art and poetry. Partially removing the gatekeepers to these industries has been an effective way to help more diverse voices be heard.
Technology doesn’t just bring strangers together, it also helps to keep us connected with the friends and family we already have. Nowadays, many of us live in different cities or countries to our parents or friends we grew up with, but digital advancements mean it’s still easy for us to stay in close contact with them. Video calls, instant messaging, emails, and social media help to strengthen the bonds between us when we can’t be together physically and even enable us to effectively replicate face-to-face meetups. So, while technology may not be perfect, and there are certain issues we all need to be aware of when using it, overall it’s safe to say that the impact on society has been resoundingly positive.