Technology Use in Post Pandemic World

February 2023 Edition

As part of Generation Z, there’s never been a time in our lives when we haven’t consumed technology. From watching YouTube videos on our parents’ phones and playing games on the family computer, we were the first generation to be raised on technology. As we got older we owned our own phones, laptops, and other devices to inform and entertain ourselves. We downloaded social media apps, games, and streaming services to learn something new or to understand all the pop culture references.
Let’s face it: we’ve become addicted to the countless hours spent on our phones during the pandemic watching TikToks and finding recipes for sourdough bread online. A 2009 study from the “European Journal of Social Psychology” found that, on average, an action becomes automatic after 66 days. If we’re talking about the time passed since March 13, 2020, that would take us to mid-May, just weeks before lockdown was over and life continued as it did before everything shut down. By then, we were all accustomed to our phones and laptops, doing schoolwork or catching up on our favorite Netflix shows.
Technology was one of the few ways we communicated with our friends and relatives in 2020, through countless Zoom calls and FaceTime hangouts. Even two-plus years after the height of the pandemic, the technologies we used to stay connected still exist, but we only use them if need be. However, we still see the effects of our usage of technology during the pandemic. Screen times have risen dramatically, and some of our sleep cycles still haven’t returned to normal. For many, it’s hard to focus in class without checking Instagram or Snapchat multiple times a period.
Sure, teachers have come up with ways to help us deal with our addictions to our phones in class. With games like Kahoot, Blooket, or Gimlet, we’re studying the content of our classes in fun, competitive games for Internet-accessing devices. Whether it be our Chromebook, phone, or another laptop we bring from home, we enjoy being engaged with the devices we became addicted to in our isolated world back in 2020. Of course, sometimes we see these games as a competition of who can earn the most points, but we’ve come up with ways to use technology in healthy, meaningful ways.
Technology is the future, but let’s try to not abuse it. It’s a powerful weapon that can help with essay writing, making and maintaining friends, and researching the newest clothing, TV, and music trends. It has helped with our globalization, and we’ve seen our personal identities change with new beliefs and bits of culture from every corner of the world. With the rise of use in technology in recent years, we are now able to meet roommates for college and make new friends for the future from within the state, country, and even internationally.