Facebook has published an interesting study of how people are using online technology to stay safe and live their lives as best as possible, given the pandemic. And people sometimes look to fulfill the need for human interaction online, too. If you’re interested in the topic, I recommend looking at the study results here.
To sum it up, the study begins with this assertion:
“From socially distanced supermarket lines to the temporary closure of coffee shops and cancellation of live events, COVID-19 has changed the social landscape… In a pandemic, connection looks very different and involve reimagining life as we once knew it: conducting meetings from kitchen tables, checking in on grandparents via video and celebrating weddings virtually. As the ways people connect and communicate rapidly evolve, a new normal is emerging for human interactions.”
Technology turns out to be the biggest winner of these new and stressful times, and Facebook chose to focus on “contactless payments” because of its own agenda. Instead of dwelling on this aspect of how life (and commerce) has changed, I’m sharing some of the amazing facts about the use and growth of online technology that come from this study. Here are some of the most interesting to me:
- There were 62 million downloads of business conferencing apps in the third week of March (14–21), when most of the U.S. went into lockdown. This is a 90% increase vs. 2019.
- 53% of Americans say the internet has been essential to them as they work-from-home and shelter-in-place.
- 40% of 18–34-year-old Americans made a purchase using a digital voice assistant, up from 28% in May 2020.
- In May 2019, only 16% of people age 65+ shopped online more than once a week; this increased to 43% in 2020.
- The share of Americans who accessed telehealth services grew from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020.
- Globally, 23% of respondents reveal that they’ve turned to online communities for stress.
- In Brazil, activists worked together to create an app that has helped to distribute $26 million in food deliveries and emergency income to more than 1.1 million families.
It’s rewarding to see how technology has been used as “a force for good” in this data. Think for a moment about changes in your own behavior. How many trips and events were cancelled? Have you been able to compensate for the lack of human interaction (and travel)? Are you finding new, “human” connections online?
I’d love to hear how you have used technology to help lessen the impact of the pandemic in your life, or in your business. Please reach out to contact me and let’s talk!