Online Relationships and Human Technology

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The internet has become a big part of the world and the way that we communicate with one another. In the article, “Changes in Digital Communication During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic: Implications for Digital Inequality and Future Research”, Nyguen states that individuals who are less tech-savvy might be struggling and need more support with digital technology. As the internet has grown during this pandemic, it has become a way that individuals are building human connection, but also has prevented people who don’t much access to it. This past year, the pandemic has changed how we communicate and engage with one another. Video conferencing apps have allowed for people to see one another from any given place, at any given moment. It has given people the flexibility to to hop on video calls at any time. On the other hand, the people who haven’t had much internet access may be losing that human connection during the pandemic. With no internet, it is likely for people to become more depressed and anxious because they aren’t getting to communicate as much with others. The problem with this is that technology is creating this division between those who have access to the internet and those who don’t.

Internet technologies have been a useful tool that a lot of people have learned to use during this pandemic in order to stay connected. In Garfin’s article, he talks about how people are using video conferencing to engage with previous communities, like fitness studios. People have scheduled happy hours and celebrated holidays with their family in friends. The internet has become a resourceful tool to get people active and to schedule routines each day. Our mental health is very important and the internet has been a useful guide that has helped normalize our lives during a pandemic. Personally for me, I found video conferencing to be very helpful, especially as I was in the middle of doing my rehab on my knee from my ACL surgery. I was able to have weekly zoom sessions to work with my trainer and do jumping exercises for the first time. It was comforting to know that someone was watching me and telling me what to do even if I wasn’t with them in person. The internet was such an essential tool for me that allowed me to keep progressing during a time where I could’ve taken steps back. Without the internet, I would not have been cleared to play a couple months after. The ability to call and text my trainers and coaches each and every day, brought me a lot of success.

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Arianna Delmoral

Student-Athlete at the University of Minnesota majoring Business and Marketing Education