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Use of Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the pandemic, people have been immersed in technology, using it as a means of communication, learning, or simply a passing of time. However, many seem to be neglecting the negative effects technology can have on one's mind and body. This article will guide you to a greater awareness of these negative effects, and to a healthier life with technology.


The vital role of technology


It is undeniable that technology has become an essential part of everyday life; here are some ways it has helped and is continuing to help us cope during the pandemic.


  • Communication: Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Skype have facilitated our connection with family and friends across the globe, despite restrictions and lockdowns. Social media platforms have allowed us to share a glimpse into our personal lives and spread positive information to support others during this time.

  • Fitness: Whether we prefer dancing, basketball, yoga, or fitness in general, technology has allowed us to keep our bodies healthy through online lessons or team training sessions.

  • Entertainment: During quarantine, many of us have been rewatching our favourite television series or binge-watching new ones. This source of entertainment has allowed us to escape reality for hours, days, even weeks!

  • Online shopping: From essentials to the newest fashion items, it is likely that much of recent shopping has been done on a laptop or phone and delivered right to our doorstep. Online shopping has helped us stay safe, by allowing us to purchase our essentials from the comfort of our own homes.

  • Remote learning: As schools across the world shut down, education providers turned towards a new method of delivering education to students. With learning done through online platforms, children are able to receive education while remaining safe at home.

  • Remote working: Many individuals have been working from home since the shutdown of workspaces. Technology has allowed employees to receive income from the safety of their own homes.

  • Non-urgent essential services: Many physicians across the globe have been using telemedicine as an alternative for in-person appointments. This allows vulnerable groups to connect with their physician, both safely and conveniently.

  • Flattening the curve: Technology has played a significant role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. In April, Canada's first disinfectant robot was being tested. Soon after, UV disinfection robots deployed in Vancouver hospitals, minimizing human contact and reducing the risk of transmission from patients to hospital staff. Recently, COVID Alert—a smart phone app informing users of possible exposure to COVID-19 cases—was introduced by the Government of Canada. Across the world, digital/infrared thermometers permit essential workers to scan clients in a contactless process before entering offices. In Shanghai, China, robots are used to examine patients in isolation wards, minimizing staff to patient contact and reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

  • 3D printing: 3D printing has been vital in the production of useful equipment and unique inventions, including PPE such as face shields and hands-free door openers.


Tips for healthy use of technology


Although there are many benefits of technology, it is easy to fall into the trap of overindulging ourselves into the digital world. Here are a few tips to prevent unhealthy use of technology:


  • Set a schedule for yourself. Set limits on the amount of time you spend on technology, whether it be gaming, scrolling through social media, etc.

  • Engage in outdoor activities. This can include going on a hike, taking a stroll through your neighbourhood, or having a picnic with your family! Ensure that you adhere to your city's regulations and guidelines.

  • Give your eyes a break from digital reading by going the old-fashioned way: getting your hands on a physical book! As said in the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, books are a form of "quality (described as texture), leisure, and freedom."

  • Finish those projects you've been meaning to get done—big or small! This can range from organizing your bedroom closet to renovating your kitchen cabinet!

  • Write a letter or postcard to someone you love. After all, everyone needs some support during these difficult times. There is no better way to let someone know how much you miss them than through a thoughtful, hand-written letter!

  • Write in a journal. Putting your thoughts and ideas on paper can improve memory, creativity, control over your emotions, and can act as a stress reliever.

  • Take up arts and crafts! Whether you choose to paint on a canvas, sketch in a sketchbook, or take a flip through an origami book, arts and crafts is certain to unleash your creativity and guide you in observing the realities of the world.


Conclusion


Technology has, without a doubt, benefited the world tremendously. It grants us communication, entertainment, new inventions, and plays a major role in flattening the curve during the pandemic. However, it is important to refrain from spending all our time glued to a screen. Take frequent breaks, give your eyes a rest, get outside, and take the time to enjoy a sunrise or smell a rose.



Article Author: Michelle Xiao

Article Editor: Victoria Huang

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