Due to the coronavirus, the pandemic froze the world at the beginning of 2020. One of the tools that governments used to protect people from the spread is lockdowns. Many countries forbade leaving the house unless it was urgent.
One of the consequences of this mandatory homestay was, of course, using Google to try and find a new way to pass the time. The Internet kept pouring ideas on what to do, how to entertain, how to learn, and how to stay sane.
And now, even though the lockdowns are still happening for brief periods in some countries, we can already discuss whether there have been any changes in the way we use our free time due to the isolation and all that time mandatory spent at home.
Use the time to improve yourself
Most modern humans turn to social media, when bored. Endless scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, has become the way to pass the time. And not only that, many of us have become slaves to this action. Even when we are surrounded by other people and should socialize and not stare at new posts on our phones.
But, when the lockdowns started, one of the main ideas that social media was giving to people, is to use the time to learn a new skill. Blog posts everywhere were suggesting ways to use that very phone to improve your knowledge or start building it from scratch. And this was to be done by downloading an app that will teach you a language or finding a short course on baking or even an online CPR course that comes with a certification. And one can always sign up for a masterclass, of course.
So, will this concept of using your time off to learn something new stick around? Only time will tell, but it was probably the first time in the internet era that we were so massively pushed towards spending it this way. If it stays, it should be seen as a positive thing, though.
Doing deeper research of ways to have fun
Parents of young kids have a very hard time during the lockdowns. Suddenly they had to be kindergarten teachers, school teachers, and head entertainers. This prompted them to find new ways to help their kids learn but also have fun during playtime.
The result is they discovered new ways for their children to learn, but also made them dig deeper on the Internet and search among the pages of books for professional educators and parents. Other than helping them excel in their parenting, without a doubt it made them appreciate the teachers more.
But not just parents were deep into research. Almost everyone was trying to discover ways to have fun, beyond what is usual. Those who in the past preferred playing chess online were now searching for games they can play with multiple friends while being miles apart, so they were busy discovering how to play poker online or ways to move the good old pub trivia quiz online.
This is also a positive change because not only do people discover new ways to have fun, but they also improve their research skills. The latter is something useful for every aspect of life, so we do hope this one sticks with humanity as well.
Travel virtually and enjoy yourself
Short or long trips were always a favorite way to pass long periods of free time we call vacations. In lockdowns, of course, this was impossible. Even after the lockdowns were over, some countries still have not opened their borders while others were still on the high-risk list.
This also caused one positive change in our behavior. Many museums and art galleries were quick to make the virtual versions available for visitors that might be far away. All they need is an Internet connection.
This new way to visit places around the world is probably here to stay. While it cannot be a proper substitute for seeing things in person, it definitely can serve as a teaser while deciding where to go or a way for those who cannot afford a real-life visit to be able to see masterpieces and learn about the culture. It also shifted our perspective from thinking that we must travel to provide ourselves with this type of cultural entertainment.
The Internet has supplied us with many ways to entertain ourselves in the online world and once we were solemnly limited to it, we were able to expand it.
However, these changes might stick around at least for some time and, as we tried to point out in the previous lines, they are positive changes, to begin with.