What the Pandemic Taught Us about Tech We Do and Don’t Need

Basic Tech Needs in Crisis

Sometime in mid-March life as we knew it came to a grinding halt. Schools closed, offices transitioned to “work from home,” and businesses hurried to figure things out. With so much time on our hands, and literally nowhere to go, we got a chance to focus in on the tech that matters most during a crisis. Basically, we need:

Find the right virtual meeting space for you.

Interaction platforms and tools so we can communicate with friends, family, and co-workers. Communicate clearly which systems you are using for what purposes. Employers might choose a certain platform for security reasons; families might decide to meet using a user-friendly platform to allow less-technically-inclined members to participate.

Enjoyable distractions for our mental health. Now is a good time to review all the streaming subscriptions you have and decide which ones are providing you with the most value. Similarly, it is worth investing in quality devices (screen, headphones, etc.) to consume all that content.

Computers of some kind that have access to work tools and an internet browser. There are so many laptop computers and smartphones to choose from. Set a budget for yourself, determine what features are most important to you, and buy the devices that are going to make your life easier.

A fast and stable internet connection is key.

A sturdy and stable internet connection that facilitates all of the above. Mesh Wi-Fi systems, like Google Wifi and Amazon’s Eero, allow for full coverage across your living space, eliminating “dead zones.”

This is actually kind of liberating—to know that we don’t need all the flares and features that have been pushed at us so often and for so long. There is no end to the list of new-fangled gadgetry on the market. Yes, foldable smartphonesdoorbell cameras, or even AI-boosted speakers, are all great. But they aren’t going to make your life better, or even manageable when things get corona-crazy.