Technology during the COVID-19 pandemic- Alone Together Podcast

The pandemic has seen a shift in communication moving online, with technology playing a big role in staying connected with one another.

In the second episode of the second series of Alone Together, LBC’s tech correspondent, Will Guyatt discusses technology trends during the lockdown period.

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Will shares that the usage of every type of technology platform, from gaming to iPlayer, has increased. “Back in February 20,600 people in the UK used Zoom every month and by April it was at 13 million. People are using zoom as a verb now,” he said.

When asked what trends are here to stay, Will said, “I think increasingly an older generation who had decided they weren’t going to use technology have decided to adopt it. I also think video conferencing is here to stay. I hope the government really speeds up and works on areas that don’t have 4G or broadband links.”

“If this lockdown happened 15 years ago imagine how disconnected we all would have been.”

You can listen to the full episode here.

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However, excessive use in technology can lead to a burnout. Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Relationship Counsellor, Maya Tomse is on hand to talk about the reasons as to why we may be feeling overwhelmed by technology usage.

She explains that: “We are more aware and sensitive to our own feelings and emotions but also we are more aware and sensitive to other people’s feelings and emotions too.”

Therefore, we make more of an emotional effort when talking online for example, maintaining eye contact. Maya also touches on how technical difficulties such as frozen screens and wifi breakdowns can lead to a lack of non verbal communication such as facial expressions and tone of voice. We then have to work harder to process these non verbal cues when talking online which can use a lot of energy.

Maya provides some tips for Alone Together listeners who are navigating increased online communication. “My first response is reducing screen time for example, consider moving meetings offline and trying other methods like phone calls.”

She also advises setting out a daily routine. “I think it is important to become stricter with ourselves, and with our time as well. Usually we would go to work, have 9-5 jobs and we had boundaries there. And now we have to do it for ourselves.”

Finally, on the podcast’s local hero section, Active Wellbeing Society Chief Executive, Karen Creavin discusses the campaign #BrumTogether. The campaign is made up of voluntary, community and faith groups across Birmingham who are working together to provide essential supplies and support for those most in need.

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