How Are We Using the Internet During the COVID-19 Crisis?

The COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly across the globe, with reported cases in nearly every nation and territory on Earth. To counter this, city, state, and federal governments are all issuing orders and guidelines for people to stay in their residences as much as possible, and many employees are not going in to work. You are probably spending all your time at home, and this might make you feel either anxious, annoyed, impatient, afraid, or simply bored. Fortunately, you have many options, many of them made possible with a solid internet connection. Here are a few ways the internet is helping people cope with the current crisis.

Have Some Fun

True, this is a difficult time, and the people affected have every reason to feel apprehensive or afraid. But this is not the time to give in to despair; instead, why not focus on what you can do? In addition to proper safety precautions such as hand washing and social distancing, you can keep your spirits up with some good entertainment at home. Now is a great time to get back into that show you used to love, do some writing, and share your art online.

Communicate with Family and Friends

Most likely, your large social gatherings have been canceled, and venues like clubs, bars, movie theaters, and the like are being shut down indefinitely. Normally, you’d visit friends and family in person to have a dinner party or share gifts (83% of surveyed people like to receive flowers unexpectedly), but remote gatherings are the best option at this junction. Besides, flower delivery is probably suspended right now. Social media is a strong tool for staying connected, especially with apps like Skype, Google Hangouts, and more. Maybe show off the projects you’ve been working on. Seeing their face and hearing their voice can help cheer you up, and the same goes for them. Thanks to modern technology, staying connected is easier than ever.

Educate Your Children

Most likely, your children’s school is shut down, and your young ones are your constant companions during the quarantine. But the good news is that your children don’t have to miss out on quality education at a time like this. Parents care a great deal about their kids’ education, especially seeing how 75% of American children take part in a preschool program. While your kids are at home, nurture their minds with the power of the internet, and find educational videos for them to watch and quiz them on what they learned. You can also prompt discussion and analysis (or even friendly debate) on some educational topics with your adolescent children, to keep their minds engaged. This can help pass the time and exercise their brains, and it helps teach your kids that a good education is not something to take for granted. They should always be ready and willing to learn.

Beware of Cybercrimes

The internet has its dark side, and it may have many more hazards than cyberbullying or graphic content on some sites. Powerful technology like the internet will always be exploited or weaponized by dishonest people who want to hurt others, and right now, more people are online than ever, which includes cyber-criminals. The very idea of cyber-crime is fairly new, and some companies or governments lag behind the reality of it. But you can always protect yourself with smart practices, to avoid compromising your security. If you (or your children) are not careful, you might have your identity stolen or your money was stolen, and recovery is not always possible once this happens. Overall, about 68% of all funds lost in cyber-attacks is deemed impossible to recover.

Don’t Spend All Your Time Online

With or without the context of a pandemic quarantine, the internet is best used in moderation; there are downsides to using it all day, even without computer viruses infecting your machine. This is especially true for social media; mental health experts have theories that excessive use of it (especially for adolescents) can result in negative feelings of being left out or inadequate. Besides that, excessive screen use results in sedentary behavior, eye strain, and back strain, which is unhealthy for anyone. And there are other things to do, anyway. Use the internet for online college classes, ordering supplies, and getting in contact with family and friends. Then, spend the rest of your day on other activities, to help keep your quarantine life balanced.

The internet is the great connector of our time, and we’re using it now more than ever. Using the internet safely and sustainably during these uncertain times can help maintain human connections, provide entertainment, and help us stay balanced.

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