Technology times

 
June 01, 2020

While there is speculation around the world on how the coronavirus pandemic may change the pattern of life itself, it is obvious that the problem with the long lockdowns necessitated by it in many...

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While there is speculation around the world on how the coronavirus pandemic may change the pattern of life itself, it is obvious that the problem with the long lockdowns necessitated by it in many countries has brought forward the significance of technology in our age. As a result, people who had never used a laptop or a tablet before have turned to it to meet work or social needs. By the time Covid-19 goes away, if at all, we will have an expanded population of persons who are expertly able to use technology ranging from forums such as FaceTime and Skype to interact with family members they cannot meet to other programmes which allow complicated data to be shared to the workplace, allowing giant corporations, banks and also small businesses to run smoothly and effectively. The finding by large companies that technology can aid them in this fashion has also meant persons who are disabled or are retired on the basis of ill health or age are able to rejoin the workforce.

Karachi-based organization NOWPDP has facilitated people with physical challenges to use their computers to get back into the job market and also take advantage of the greater demand for work completed online during the Covid pandemic which has emptied out offices and other places of work. We could then see in the future many people who are currently out of the workforce including senior citizens, those with mobility issues or even those who lack transport find a way to re-enter work and earn livelihoods. This could have a huge impact on workspaces, on the job market and on earning ability.

There have also been discoveries about just how effective social media can be for those seeking to start small businesses. Of course, the sheer amount of time they have on their hands because they have lost their jobs may be a factor in this. But students, the unemployed, the elderly and others have in many cases adapted simple apps such as Instagram to market goods they manufacture at home ranging from edible goodies to decorative items, masks or home appliances which are cheaper than those available in the market. All this means that we will indeed see change in the future. There are also those who argue that the manner in which we have leaned on technology may also help us find a balance between using it constantly, for example on our mobile phones and going back to older ways of communicating around family dinner tables or through games played with boards and cards. The future will be fascinating. We hope of course that it will not be long before lives return to some kind of normalcy, but precisely how this ‘normalcy’ will be framed remains something of a question mark.



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