Life in a Digital World

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Life in a Digital World

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For millions of people, the blue and white logo of the digital video meeting service, Zoom, has become a familiar sight. I am sure that many of us, like myself, had to abruptly learn about Zoom in March 2020 when our lives entered a digital phase due to the pandemic. I’m sure that I am also similar to many others when I can now say that (in November 2020) I am more than proficient in my Zoom skills. Everything from school to work to social meetings are now conducted by sending Zoom invitation links. Zoom has become the classroom, the office, and the cafe…..possibly without even changing the room you are sitting in. This year has not been easy but, as I look back over these past months, I have realized that the technological world has become a surprising lifesaver. Technology has allowed people to stay connected to the world without even stepping outside their homes. Phone calls, emails, texts, Zoom meetings….they have all played a part in keeping us close to our family and friends. Even my college graduation in May was conducted over Zoom. We moved our tassels as one graduating department, even as we sat in front of our separate computers in different locations! I have started my first semester at graduate school this fall at a Pittsburgh university. My classes are conducted through Zoom, so I am not actually on campus or living in the city! While I miss in-person social interactions, I am also incredibly grateful that, thanks to digital tools and dedicated professors, I have been able to continue my education despite this year’s difficult circumstances. Interestingly, despite global lockdowns, I have been able to “visit” parts of the world I would not normally be able to, due to institutions’ and organizations’ commitment to providing virtual experiences. From our home, my family and I have watched theatrical performances, concerts, and other events occurring in different geographical areas because of the ability to livestream. We have also been exploring various museums by taking virtual tours and looking through virtual collections. Through technology, I have been able to learn about and experience events and places that I would not have been able to otherwise! Eventually, this pandemic will be over. I hope, however, that institutions and organizations continue to reach out digitally even when it is safe to resume in-person group activities. Digital programs and projects allow people to participate in events and experiences that might have been too costly in travel expenses or time commitments had they only been offered in traditional, in-person formats. Regardless, I am grateful for what digital programming and technology have already given me. This year has been incredibly stressful and filled with anxiety. Sometimes, it has made all the difference to be able to connect with a few people over a Zoom meeting. In the end, the Zoom logo has come to signify many things to me: pandemic, prevalence of digital technology, and, when it comes down to it, the importance of human connectivity and relationships.

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This item was submitted on November 10, 2020 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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