The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a ‘LOCKDOWN’ as a situation in which people are not allowed to enter or leave a building or area freely because of an emergency.
Haven’t experienced this often, right? Well, unfortunately we’ve reached a stage where this word has impacted the globe for a while now and continues to do so. The recent outbreak of the Corona virus has led us to be confined within our homes and obviously we need to find ways to kill time, otherwise whiling away time will become a global reality. So, here comes our topic of discussion i.e. ‘INTERNET’.
Since we’re living in the ‘digital age’, dealing with a lockdown isn’t as tough as reality projects it to be. However, it’s tough to remotely imagine how social distancing and a lockdown was dealt with during the Influenza pandemic (January 1918- December 1920). Millennials must feel relieved simply because, even though we haven’t been on ‘talking terms’ in person, we surely are connecting through the Internet. Essentially, this gives everyone the license to be glued to their gadgets all day long. Also, what the world considered an ‘idiot box’ should now consider itself a genius for letting people come together and keep themselves occupied when most needed.
One can’t have a discussion about the Internet and not mention ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’. Many of the social networking sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook, etc are cashing in on the lockdown. “Can’t meet in person? No worries, let’s video call!” Video calling applications like Houseparty, Zoom and Skype have seen a rise in its users in these times. Apart from this, online gaming application Psych! has positively been affected too.
WFH (Work From Home) is the new normal. Deals being struck, industries running through phones and laptops. No more dealing with strenous train travel...sounds great, doesn’t it? Imagine the number of laptops being purchased in the country for the same!
Education has also hit a standstill for the moment due to the outbreak as exams, lectures have either been cancelled or postponed. Now’s the time when digital learning would truly blossom. Students registering for online courses, work from home internships and making use of social media to put out their creative bits seems to be the way forward currently. This would surely be refreshingly different from the traditional book learning process.
“Not getting enough time to spend with family?” There are varied movies and shows one can binge-watch. So, bring out the popcorn and begin the binge! Woah! isn’t that good enough for a T-shirt? You can also individually catch up with shows or podcasts you haven’t been able to watch recently. Our parents would experience nostalgia when they realize that old television classics such as ‘Ramayan’, ‘Shaktimaan’, ‘Circus’ are back!
The Internet also proves to be one of the best platforms to provide you with all you need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. At a time when it’s in one’s best interest to avoid purchasing a newspaper, the Internet is your only resolve other than television to have constant knowledge of how the world is dealing with and affected by the pandemic. All those who love consuming the daily news along with their tea or coffee simply need to switch on their gadgets, open the e-edition and do what they do always… read and sip. Well that’s also good enough for a T-shirt, isn’t it? E-Read and Sip!
Having said this, India isn’t the only member of the ‘LOCKDOWN GANG’. A report suggests that a third of the globe including our motherland has implemented a lockdown in the wake of the current pandemic. The Internet is proving to be helpful to them as well during this period. The Italian government website has asked for companies to provide free services while E-learning, data and publications are also freely available. The Deutsche Commercial Internet Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany in March announced a world record for digital information usage; 9 terabits per second.
In a nutshell, the Internet has a huge role to play in the film named ‘LOCKDOWN’. This film would obviously have to be shot at home though! Jokes apart, it acts as a friend to one and all at a time when we can’t be with our friends. All said and done, everyone’s currently hoping that there’s positive news to hear and read in the near future with regards to the Corona pandemic. This period will surely change us as individuals when we do ‘come out’ of this lockdown. Till then, STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, STAY CONNECTED!
– Shawn Mathias
This wouldn’t have been possible without their help: