When COVID-19 hit the world, there arose an immediate need to keep people safe and to reduce the number of infections. With CDC’s recommendations to avoid human contact and keep social distance, governments ordered the closure of most businesses, schools were closed and employees sent home to continue working in safety.
With information and misinformation about the Covid-19 spreading like wildfire, everyone’s world literally shifted.
Amidst all these, one thing has clearly played a vital role in the lives of billions of people and businesses- the internet. It has been the go-to medium for staying connected, shopping, learning, working, and playing.
Clearly, the internet world has experienced a shift in so many ways. Here are some of them:
1. It has been the major source of entertainment
Movement restrictions and bans on public gatherings led to the closure of restaurants, movie theatres, and sports venues among other entertainment joints. People had no choice but to turn to the internet for entertainment.
Social media platforms and live streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube have continued to record a surging number of people. According to the BBC, Netflix has had an increase of 16 million memberships during the lockdown period. Moreover, with no end to the pandemic insight, people will highly likely continue to turn to the internet for entertainment.
Pro tip: The internet has a wide variety of content to choose from gathered from all around the world. However, content restrictions and censorship stand in the way for most people. Bypass these by using a trusted VPN, such as NordVPNReview. It will allow you to get hold of the latest music, videos, and more from anywhere in the world. Also, it protects what you are doing online through data encryption and hiding your IP address. ( Check this NordVPN Review out if you’d like to look more into it.)
2. People are shifting from chatting to connecting through video
Before the pandemic started raining havoc in the world, when people could meet and hang out with one another, texting and connecting through social media was enough for most of them. Now, stuck at home with no way to meet physically, people are craving for some human contact. Texting and chatting on social media aren’t cutting it.
Although a sure way to keep it safe during the pandemic, the only thing next to having physical contact is facetime and video conferencing. According to Statista, the videoconferencing platforms were downloaded nearly 27 million times during March, compared with January which was 2.1 million times.
Though social media usage is still on the rise, connecting through video has significantly increased during the pandemic. This has also been a result of people working from home. Employers are turning to video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Slack to keep employees connected and to conduct meetings.
3. Usage on mobile has declined
Over the past few years, internet usage on mobile devices has been on the rise. This saw a rise in mobile apps development. Businesses were on a rampage to optimize their websites for mobile in a bid to reach a wider demographic.
However, internet usage on mobile devices seems to have stagnated or fallen on some apps during the pandemic. Consequently, the shift has seen increased growth in website traffic over the same period. As a result, the global smartphone market has declined 13% year-over-year loss.
Clearly, over-reliance on mobile before the pandemic was because people were on the move all the time and away from their computers. Smartphones provided the perfect option to access the internet on the go since they are easy to carry around. Now that people are stuck at home and close to their computers, they have suddenly realized the comfort of browsing the internet on a bigger screen.
4. Daytime internet use increased
Before the pandemic, people were busy at work and school during the day. With little time to access the internet, most people preserved their internet browsing for the evening and nighttime.
The pandemic made everything slow down for most of us. There is so much more free time in our hands during the day than ever before. Thankfully, the internet has been a good companion at these times. Consequently, internet usage during the day has increased significantly compared to the period before the pandemic.
It’s also worth mentioning that the use of internet extenders such as Raspberry Pi 4, has also increased, as the average user is looking for quality Wi-fi, now that they have a lot of free time on their hands. According to OpenVault’s Broadband Insights Report for the first quarter of 2020, the broadband consumption usage has increased by 47 percent, from 273.5GB last year to 402.5GB.
5. New interests have emerged
With so much time to pass during the pandemic period, the need to find something constructive to do is evident. Parents with kids at home are looking for activities to occupy their kids’ time to alleviate the feelings of anxiety and stress. Likewise, adults are looking for ways to grow themselves in a bid to avoid falling into the pits of depression.
As a result, people have shifted their interests on the internet to meaningful activities such as E-learning, growing their hobbies in areas such as arts and crafts, cooking, and music.
Though there has been a decline in some areas such as travel sites and sports, the increase in other areas has made the effect seem insignificant. Overall, people are depending on the internet for literally everything, and the rise in usage seems to continue into the unforeseeable future. We only have to thank the internet for its resiliency to handle the surging numbers.
Related article: What a COVID-19 Vaccine Means for the Travel Industry
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About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert that specializes in creating effective digital customer experience offer for hotels while growing and scale customer acquisition and revenue.