It is no fiction how the pandemic has had a massive impact on almost everything that humanity relies on, especially on economies, businesses, transportation, communication, global climate, industrialization, agriculture and, obviously, the Internet.
Virtually all public gatherings have been called-off. Knowing the internet is utilized for electronic mailings, research, e-commerce, entertainment and educational purposes, there are about 4.3 billion active internet users worldwide consisting of 57% of the world’s entire population.
The Internet plays a vital role during this pandemic period in ensuring that people remain in contact regardless of physical barriers. Without the internet, most friendships and business connections would die. Face-to-face communication may not be equivalent, but the internet allows people to maintain important relationships.
The intriguing part of the effect of the pandemic is how we manage to change the way we use the Internet. One of the funniest parts of it is how nagging bosses now realize crucial meetings can be done through video conferencing and working from home functions. So if you’re always late for important meetings, you should count yourself lucky this time.
Before the pandemic, Skype was the accustomed king app for video conferencing but somehow Zoom overtook it. Immeasurably, people began to use Zoom because it has a better video quality, people don’t need a login to access a gathering, supports voice calls, chat and therefore the interface is comparatively intuitive.
Here’s a chart showing how Zoom is way better than skype:
While Zoom is definitely the rising star among video chat apps, Skype remains far ahead in terms of active users. Other prominent video conferencing apps are Google hangouts, Google duo, Slack, Google meet, GoToMeeting and Bluejeans.
Another app that took the Internet by storm is Houseparty.
Houseparty uses a split-screen to make multiple video-chatting easy between multiple users, adding in a feature that allows secret chats among participants.
This app is not used for professional meetings or conversations. It is a cross-platform mobile and desktop social networking app, which allows up to eight users to video chat simultaneously. The user base of Houseparty consists primarily of teens and young adults (60% of users are under the age of 24).
For a couple of years now, people that love to go to cinemas and those that love TV shows now get stuck with their Netflix apps because it has better mobility. During this period, it has gained a whopping amount of 15 million new subscribers raising its revenue from $4.5 billion to $5.7 billion. Though, Netflix gives users a cross-platform to access their content from phones to tablets to laptops and smart TV.
Netflix is killing cinemas because it is worldwide and users can access movies everywhere. It also has an offline video playback and a subscription plan that suits everybody. Some other alternatives which gained grounds lately are YouTube TV, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Apple TV and Disney Plus.
The rise of TikTok cannot be left out of the conversation. TikTok is a free social media app that lets you watch, create, and share short videos by playing a soundtrack in synchronization with the video right from your phone.
This app has about 500 million downloads during the reign of the pandemic. Most of the people that use this app are young people. Most people use it to kill boredom and pass time. TikTok now competes with Instagram on the same level. Other related apps that people find as alternatives are Likee, Vskit and Triller.
In the aspect of distant learning, Google classroom has really done a great job. Google Classroom can be accessed from any computer or browser from any mobile device regardless of platform. It is a tool being used by more than 30 million educators and it is gaining momentum for both students and teachers.
Google classroom includes Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and more. It works with G-Suite for Education to facilitate communication between instructors and students, create classes, distribute work and stay organized. Though a lot of people still use Zoom and Skype for distant learning, what differentiates Google Classroom is the extra learning tools it has.
A lot of people also switched to online shopping during this period. A lot of stores were shut down due to the pandemic but that did not stop online stores. Millions of people began to shop online had their orders delivered to them without any contact. Online shopping was a safer place to get goods delivered during the pandemic. Online stores like Amazon, Aliexpress, Gearbest, Ebay and Jumia have made a lot of sales during this period.
Millions of students who were to graduate this year were unable to attend their convocation due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t stop their convocation from holding because academic institutions have begun to hold online virtual graduation ceremonies and then send their certificates to them via mailing.
Some institutions took the trend to a whole new level by using robots in place of humans. A tablet connected with the graduating student through video conferencing is fixed to the head of the robot, then the robot goes to collect the diplomas on the podium. Isn’t that amazing?
The Internet has also managed to curb a lot of fake news and infodemics during this period. Big social media platforms have done great works to combat the wave of fake news spilling over the Internet. Big organizations and tech giants also did well in educating people to disregard and report fake news like theories that chloroquine is the cure of the virus and 5G spreads coronavirus.
Fake news spreads faster and more easily than the virus, and it is just as dangerous. Since the end of March, the amount of misinformation spread on WhatsApp and Facebook groups has dropped sharply. Whatsapp imposed a new limit of forwarding messages and Facebook began to shut down fake accounts and unverified News sources. Twitter also took down deceptive and harmful posts concerning the virus.
During this pandemic, the Internet has proved to us that it is one of the greatest technological inventions ever. I guess almost everyone is addicted to the Internet. An average person uses 6 hours and 42 minutes daily. In one way or the other, we all use social networks, text people, voice call, video call, stream videos, download movies and even play online multiplayer games on different platforms.
The Internet has proven to be extremely important in many fields, from education and healthcare to business and government. The Internet has had an enormous impact on education, streamlining access to information and making it easier for individuals to engage in online learning. We are all now connected by the Internet, like the neurons in a giant brain.