When you wake up and reach out to your nightstand to grab your cell phone, you first check social media, right? Distant news of a strange virus invades the wall of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, several of them with memes of exotic foods including bats and pangolins. You see it as distant, as an anecdotal, humorous fact and not as a real concern.
If you take the cell phone again to check social media after a month, you will find in WhatsApp message from your friends. The messages are to notify that you will not have to go to the office anymore and that everyone on the team, including you must telework.
Another week goes by and you see the Government of many countries limits your ability to move freely around the city. Certainly, you did not forget the phrase of your ancestors — all past time was better. You will be very upset if you live with a nightmare of not having income or losing your job. Also, you will surely pray to the Lord for the wellbeing of your parents and grandparents.
This apocalyptic scenario, which we all are facing regardless of our socio-economic conditions, is more like an episode of Netflix’s acclaimed Black Mirror series than the real-life we were used to. However, after the worst storms, the most precious sunsets always appear. The empirical evidence has shown us that the greatest opportunities arise in crises and this time is not going to be the exception. We are even already seeing several positive effects of the pandemic.
Here we are going to focus, particularly, on those that are benefits to new technology:
The world understood that work does not have to be linked to a physical space. Definitely, many people will improve their quality of life because it will become a habit to telework.
Through this, the employees can save money on transportation and pass more time with family members with great concentration. In a similar way, the employers can minimize office costs and improve the work environment.
Electronic commerce has been becoming very important for every one day by day.
Financial intermediation chains can be reduced, achieving the following benefits:
- Lower costs of products and services, which means greater social benefit because many people will be able to access them.
- More transfer of value to the producer, who can go directly to the last consumer “just a click away”.
- More access to markets in a new collaborative economy, where we all have the possibility of being prosumers (McLuhan and Nevitt, 1972) as described by the renowned sociologist and economist Jeremy Rifkin in his book titled “The Society of Zero Marginal Cost: The Internet of things (IOT), the collaborative commons and the eclipse of capitalism”.
Digital effects accelerated
- We learned to communicate through digital means
- We lost the fear of buying online, paying for public services over the Internet and doing “shopping” on a website or application.
- Knowing and using technology makes life easier in times of crisis and will be a rescuer for many in normal situations.
In conclusion, some will lose with the coronavirus pandemic crisis, but many others — the vast majority —will have a golden opportunity. We should take the advantage of the new technology. With this, we will reinvent ourselves and start to lead our ship in digital seas.