We’ve become more integrated into the world of technology over the past year and a half, thanks to the outbreak of the unprecedented and fear-instilling COVID-19. Whether we like it or not, we’ve had to learn to adjust our experiences, our relationships, our work, and even studying methods too. And while we all like to keep telling ourselves that it is a temporary situation, the side-effects of this pandemic might not be so temporary.

two people shaking hands Photo by Cytonn Photography from Unsplash In fact, sociologists have been discussing the possibility of change in our social contact, starting from the firm handshake at a work interview to the ways we show affection to our friends in public when greeting them. Many have also predicted how our education system and work environment are both going to look slightly different.

COVID Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response from Unsplash

Throughout all this change, I have however noticed something that brings me some comfort. I think it’s always helpful to hold onto something that feels familiar as a result of the extreme uncertainty that change can bring about. I noticed it at first through some of the class group chats, then through my work which is currently limited to phone canvassing -as a charity fundraiser-, and later even though some of the events organized by the clubs at our University. I began to realize that all these events and these experiences that I was a part of, were mainly created for other purposes yet came to be a very good way for people to connect.

person sitting in front of computer monitor Photo by Simon Abrams from Unsplash

Every year I join the Whatsapp group chats made by students for different classes. This year, I noticed that these group chats were becoming way more about people talking to each other and creating conversation about everyday things than really trying to keep up with the course information. On a similar note, while my job entails calling people to raise awareness about a specific campaign as well as fundraising, I often find myself on the phone speaking to people about their careers, their children, how they’ve coped with the pandemic or what they think about the world we live in today, forgetting that my main goal is to raise donations. 

Slowly, I realized that although our social interactions and relationships might be shifting because of the effects of technology, it is not going to stop us from trying to find real connections. As human beings, we have an evolutionary instinct to form groups, because of the survival value it has had for us in the past. That is precisely why, to this day, the majority of us will crave for genuine human connection, no matter what. 

It also helps that this pandemic is a global phenomenon because it has given us the power to unite all the people of the world together in some ways.