American life has changed, and we don’t know when it will come back, but we are all hoping that it will within the near future. Americans, in the overwhelming majority, however, while stuck at home have some degree of distractions from the constant news and punditry coming all around them. While access to endless methods of entertainment lessens the stress, now many Americans are worried as to whether or not the one thing they can’t seem to live without can carry the strain of everyone tapping into it all at the same time- the internet.
According to a large study conducted by the Pew Research Center, “Amid this increased reliance [on the internet], about nine-in-ten U.S. adults (93%) say that a major interruption to their internet or cellphone service during the outbreak would be a problem in their daily life, including 49% who foresee an outage being a very big problem for them and 28% who believe it would be a moderately big problem.”
With social distancing amongst friends, family, and coworkers forcing many individuals to telecommute from home, this specific cause of anxiety is only strengthened by the knowledge of how many Americans are using bandwidth-heavy digital streaming services right now. The report continues to state that “while digital connections may provide an alternative during a time of social distancing, only a minority (27%) thinks interacting via these technologies [email, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, etc] will be as effective as in-person contact. Some 64% of Americans think the internet and phones will help but are not a replacement for face-to-face encounters.”
When Pew asked participants about the range of activities they are currently doing while quarantined due to the coronavirus outbreak, “roughly three-quarters (76%) of Americans say they have used email or messaging services to communicate with others, while 70% report that they have searched online for information about the coronavirus.” This also shows by comparison that fewer Americans “say they have shared or posted information about the outbreak on social media.”
For the full report by Pew Research, click here.
What are you doing to pass the time at home? How has your regular work life changed? Let us know in the comments below!