“Zooming” Toward the Future brings attention to the development of telecommunication and other technologies as humanity adapts to a social-distancing world.
Yesterday I wrote about some of the changes we’ve faced as a result of COVID-19. A lot has changed since those early days in February and it seems that a majority of the “growth” we have seen this year has been mostly negative. We are bombarded with news of violent protests and police brutality while distrust of the media and its agenda mounts by the day, matched only by the number of infections as the chart grows ever higher. But with every crisis we have faced in our brief history on Earth, humanity continues to evolve and adapt to our circumstances. If you need a little convincing, look no further than how technology has changed in this year alone.
Technology has come a long way since the mid-1900s. Since the invention of the microchip in 1958, various advances in programming and engineering have given us the pocket-sized cell phone we have all come to rely upon today. In a world now enforcing social distancing and self-imposed isolation, we rely on technology now more than ever to stay connected to the ones we love. Telecommunication platforms like Zoom and Teams have become big names in breaking down those digital barriers to keep us together in isolation. Our phones have adapted to fulfill another need, allowing our bonds to grow stronger and more reliable (depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi connection).
We are now more in touch than ever with our friends and distant relatives by utilizing applications like Zoom to hold simultaneous video calls between 20 people. My extended family, which dots various states across the U.S., holds a Sunday evening conference call. Telemedicine, which had been underutilized prior to the pandemic, has come to the forefront of at-home health checkups. This service has since been extended to those working in mental health professions, allowing patients with depression and anxiety the unique opportunity to seek help from the comfort of their beds. Once again, humanity has worked to create and expand our circles of connection in the face of despair and adversity.
So don’t forget that the world is still moving forward in all aspects, both good and bad. We stand now at the precipice of a world that might become more educated and socially conscious as a result of the virus that crowds our hospitals and shuts down our streets. Technology is moving faster than ever, providing users with new opportunities to connect with others while gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves. Don’t let the desire for what used to be stop you from enjoying what is. We’re in this together, now more than ever. Stay hopeful!