The digital world has been growing and evolving for some time, and it seemed to be moving forward at quite a rapid pace. Little did we know in our pre-lockdown state how quickly things could move if the need arose to work and live differently. It is a testament to the world’s most innovative minds that the technology we needed to survive the pandemic, both economically and mentally, was available and accessible. It seems almost certain that we would be in a much different and much worse position than we are in without these digital advances.
For business, many premises have been forced to close, at least temporarily, and staff have been working from home. Businesses need a strong digital infrastructure to facilitate this remote working, and many have invested in such things since the first lockdown. The ability to welcome visitors has also been restricted or removed altogether in some cases. Therefore, an online presence is essential for businesses to be able to sell themselves. Businesses have been spending time on their online presence, updating social media more frequently, looking at their web hosting package, and, in some cases, creating a new website with the help of companies such as names.co.uk. As of 2019, there were more than 1.72 billion websites in the world, according to Statista, although the number fluctuates constantly.
For many, the only way to keep contact with the outside world is online. As a result, internet access has become more of an essential item than a luxury. People of all ages are getting to grips with video calling to keep in touch with family and friends, holding quizzes and enjoying virtual meals together in an attempt to maintain human contact. The mental health implications of the pandemic and lockdown are potentially massive but advances in the digital world have certainly helped to alleviate some of the isolation issues people have faced.
We must not forget schools, many of which have been forced to move teaching online. Teachers have themselves become pupils, having to quickly learn to use new technologies to deliver lessons. Schools rely on pupils for government funding and therefore also need to market themselves as a desirable educational setting for children. Where schools would normally hold open days and give tours of the premises, many have turned to virtual meetings and video tours instead.