Connecting during a pandemic... (a few TED talks)

People connecting during a pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a new era of communicating. Just how many video or voice calls have you received during the nationwide lockdown? Our guess is plenty. People have always been social creatures, so it’s no surprise that we’ve found new and creative ways to stay socially connected during this time.

We may be spending our days self-isolating at home, but we’re not doing it alone. Virtual bachelorette parties, happy hour with friends and family game night/s via Skype or Zoom have become the new norm. Our need to intentionally reach out to those we love during this crisis has created meaningful and deeper conversations while using our devices. 

Zoom and Skype video calls
Grandparent on video call
young woman on video call

So how is this global pandemic shifting our perspective on technology?

Throughout the ages, the evolution of technology has been polarising. The dawn of the internet saw many shun technology out of fear - while others welcomed it with open arms.
As our way of communicating evolved, we became reliant on our devices. We buried our faces behind screens, unable to unplug and create deeper connections beyond our technological bubbles. 

In 2012, Sherry Turkle presented an amazing TED Talk, Connected, but alone?, about how our devices are redefining human connection and communication. We’re living in a time where we’ve never been more connected, but we’ve given up on personal conversations and seem to have compromised our capacity for self-reflection in the process - “We’re connected, but still alone”, said  Turkle during her talk. 

According to Turkle, developing a more self-aware relationship with our devices is crucial to living a life that’s more meaningful. The focus should be on allowing technology to lead us back to our real lives, our bodies, communities, politics and planet. 

Fast forward to 2020, and this idea has never been more relevant. 

The digital space is full of webinars on how to become your authentic self,  and it’s never been easier to connect with an online community that shares your views. With everything from church services to therapy and fitness sessions available with a simple click of a button, this pandemic is transforming the way we use technology. 

A TED talk by Karan Chahal, What is 5G and what can it do?, gives us a look at what our future could look like. Smart cities, self-driving cars and a doctor that could operate from thousands of kilometres away (with the first remote operation having taken place earlier this year, these are all real possibilities). 

While the future of life after Covid-19 is uncertain, we hope that you’ll continue to cultivate meaningful conversations, in person or online, once we all safely step out of this pandemic. 

Here are a few more thought-provoking TED talks about technology we know you’ll love: