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Life in 2020: Everything is Going Digital

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic altered the lives of Americans, we were increasingly living in a world where everything was going digital.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic altered the lives of Americans, we were increasingly living in a world where everything was going digital.

“Almost every member of my family regularly uses the Internet to inform or improve aspects of their well-being: diet, fitness, health, social interaction with family and friends in person and online, education, entertainment, employment, commerce, finance and civic engagement,” said Mike Liebhold, Institute for the Future senior researcher, in a 2018 Pew Research Center article.

Key facets of human interactions have been shifting online for years from dating to shopping to communications to information consumption.

2020 and the coronavirus crisis may be the tipping point in our digital evolution as even those of us not versed in “swiping right” or “BRB LOL” shorthand are learning to embrace new technologies powered by increasingly fast and reliable Internet connections.

“Digital technology is so broad today as to encompass almost everything. No product is made today, no person moves today, nothing is collected, analyzed or communicated without some ‘digital technology’ being an integral part of it,” Wired magazine founder Louis Rossetto told Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center.

A trip to the bank to deposit a check, holding a printed menu while you dine inside a restaurant, and your next visit to your doctor are all moving to digital from tactile experiences.

Banking and Investing in Your Pajamas

In April, many bank branches were closed across the nation because of COVID-19, but you could still deposit a check digitally and do it from home with a smart device and app. CNBC reported that “April saw a 200 percent jump in new mobile banking registrations, while mobile banking traffic rose 85 percent, according to Fidelity National Information Services”.

In that same article, Novantas found that 60 percent of people surveyed said they were staying digital and would not be returning to physical banking.

The digital trend extends to investing where younger generations have flocked to online apps and platforms and even prefer robo-advisors vs. talking to humans with Vanquard finding out Millennials are twice as likely as baby boomers to seek out digital advice.

Much like future generations may not know what a landline phone is, many will never stand in line for a bank teller.

Eating Out: Your Phone is Your Menu and Your Credit Card

In the early months of coronavirus curbside pickup and to-go deliveries were the only way a lot of people could eat out.

Now that in-dining options are back, changes are being made in addition to social distance, including digital options where your smartphone replaces the traditional menu, billing, and checkout. Digital menu platforms such as SpotMenu offer diners a way to access food and beverage menus on premise by scanning a QR-code from smart devices. Eater’s Amanda Kludt pointed out the advantages of using digital vs. physical menus: “There are a lot of obvious upsides to relying on QR codes during this pandemic. Fewer items to touch and wash, less contact with servers, and more and easier ways to obtain important health and contact info from diners.”

With the advent of Apple Pay and digital wallets on smart devices, hard copy checks and the traditional ways of paying for our meals are also going digital as customers look for contactless experiences Deloitte conducted surveys before and after COVID-19 emerged and found that “frictionless digital experiences” was high on consumers demand lists.

The (Virtual) Doctor Will See You Now

The past nine months has opened many Americans to a host of new digital experiences such as telemedicine. Doctors were already taking advantage of digital information with Fortune reporting in 2016 that there were more than 110 million interactions between physicians and patients “done via smartphone, videoconferencing, kiosks, and other technology tools.” After COVID-19 hit CNN Business reported that BroadbandNow found that “found that 75 percent of Americans are open to the idea of seeing a doctor virtually instead of an in-person visit.”

PS LIGHTWAVE helps Great Houston area healthcare providers, educational institutions, and businesses with their digital experiences by offering high-speed, fiber Internet. Contact us today to learn more about our services, history, and dedicated team.

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PS LIGHTWAVE, a leading telecommunications service provider headquartered in Houston, Texas, provides managed Ethernet Data Circuits, Internet, private network solutions and Voice over IP (VoIP) over one of the nation’s largest facilities-based private Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). The switched Layer 2 network, backed by 24/7/365 Network Operations Center (NOC) support, encompasses approximately 5,500 route miles and 1,400 on-net locations and connects 100+ fault-tolerant multi-gigabit Ethernet rings for built-in redundancy, security, low latency, and high-availability. At PS LIGHTWAVE Great Connections Happen Here™.

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