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How Digital Adaptations Will Connect Us in Isolation
Looking beyond the pandemic, we’re adapting to a virtual form of lifestyle. Technology enables us to have continuity with our work, entertainment and even exercise, but this does include a severe lack of social life.
Like a dark hairy Carrie Bradshaw, I couldn’t help but wonder, how do we combat the issue of chronic loneliness and boredom, alongside the viral pandemic and lockdowns we’re facing now?
We comfort our human instinct with interaction in a digital format.
Across businesses and family homes, we’re all jumping online to continue with communications.
At Orbis, we’ve got a few platforms to enable us to work from home effectively and maintain regular engagement with each other.
We have group chats dedicated to a new running club (one a day per person, of course), a book club, positive news, Thursday quiz sessions and Friday quarantini’s – it’s essential to share the same level of banter we would have otherwise enjoyed in the office.
Keeping these close working relationships is something that matters highly to the culture of our team and it’s evident these platforms help individuals in our business fight the feelings of cabin fever.
The platforms we’ve been using for internal comms include Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Slack has been a long term go-to for instant messaging, but Teams is slowly becoming my platform of choice when speaking to my team over video calls. It’s that little bit better than Slack and it’s super easy to use.
For video interviews, we like to use Odro. It’s an awesome platform that our clients and candidates can use to continue with their hiring process, online. One-click and they’re both in a virtual meeting room, no sign-ups or long waits – easy!
Working from home has pushed us to use digital platforms to their full potential. Not only have they enabled us to remain sociable, but they’ve also kept us productive too.
“Shall we grab a coffee…”
One thing that happens way too much in the office are 5-minute catch-up chats which end up being 30-minute coffee dates in the breakout area. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of this and I’ll be more cautious when we’re back in the office.
Plus, I drink way too much coffee.
Younger generations are feeling the impact of the digital takeover, despite being a digital generation.
Schools have closed, and children are continuing their education in an online format. Social fitness celebrities are leading virtual P.E. and teachers are doing live storytime videos.
Personally, I’m worried the kids of today are somewhat anti-social with the excessive use of social, some time for the wrong reasons. Will this new normality help bridge the distance in human interaction? Or will it disconnect them further from reality, eventually growing up to be little hermits that can’t go out in the sun…
Social media platforms are serving their purpose.
As for other generations, social media has never been more important. I’ve just downloaded House Party, which is thriving during this pandemic. It’s like Odro meets Snapchat, a great way to host group video calls with integrated games to keep you entertained. Personally, I’d rather be at the pub, but at least I can get a beer from the fridge and pretend I’m there.
Shockingly, I’ve spent less time on social media since being on lockdown. My screen time on social has gone down almost 40% in the past week. Probably because I can’t be dealing with any more coronavirus memes, but also because I haven’t been commuting. I’ve been spending the time I do have online for work or to purely catch up with friends, no more menial scrolling.
You only need to look at the gaming industry to catch a glimpse of the future.
If we’re adapting to a purely digital world, could we be taking inspiration from gamers totally immersed in their virtual worlds?
The level of technology, graphics, player interaction and fluid streaming services within modern console games exceed expectations every year.
If we continue relying on technology as a virtual platform for conferences, house parties and everything in between, it could come to a point where we’re virtually walking into each other’s rooms as digital versions of ourselves – not just blurred faces on an iPhone screen.