How is communication shifting because of COVID?

Photo illustration by Sofía Probert.

It’s been 10 months since COVID-19 became visible all around us and we were forced to accept this new normal. We were welcomed with sanitizers and masks while staying six feet away from each other became part of the culture. With more restrictions in some areas, it feels normal to stay in our homes and do digital gatherings. It’s also frustrating when you are unable to meet your friends and family, have get-togethers and celebrate festivals with them. Of course, we can talk with our loved ones on Zoom and WhatsApp, but it’s a different experience when meeting them in real life. While missing these old experiences, many of us are thinking about when we will be able to walk out freely like before. The answer is still unknown, but with COVID vaccines already being tested and used, that day is not very far. Surely, it would be great to spend our days like before. In the meantime, let’s analyze how many of the existing changes are temporary and how many could change the way we conduct ourselves moving forward. 

What is vitally visible is that online meetups and Zoom meetings have already become a part of our lives, although many of us still prefer to meet and talk to people face-to-face. With developing technology, some of us find comfort in the online space. People can express themselves more and can cut out toxic contact from their lives. This also gives them more time to spend with their families. With remote work, it makes it easy to work from anywhere and at your own pace. College students are also happy to switch from full-time learning to distance learning. This way, they don’t have to relocate or commute every day and they can also reduce their expenses. 

Sara Palmer, an entrepreneur and public speaker, said, “I am observing so much negative, judgmental, entitled attitudes towards each other. It’s exhausting, so I just avoid those same vocal people that idealistically and falsely perceive themselves as open-minded. I’ve been scrolling past, minimizing, cutting out those toxic mindsets, and keeping to myself to do what’s right for me and my family in the environment that we’re in.

All I can see is that almost everything has been transitioning into online spaces with lots of video conference tools, such as Zoom, Messenger, texting, and audio calls. We’re losing the real ‘connection’ from having in-person events. In my honest opinion, nothing can replace in-person meetings.

I certainly miss the dynamic of speaking live in front of an audience or coaching a small group at a coffee shop. But, more importantly, I love that we can connect and help an increasing number of people in more ways than ever before, and I don’t just mean geographically.

I mean that the woman working three jobs to stay on top of her student loans can hop into a 15-minute personal growth coaching session from the breakroom at her evening gig or even her car. 

The single mom doesn’t have to rearrange her schedule, find evening childcare (not cheap or easy in the best of times, nevermind during COVID), and travel to and from another location to attend my talk on Slay or Sabotage: REAL Self Care for Moms. She can finish dinner, put on the film Moana in the other room for the kids, and settle onto her couch to get the help she deserves.

The entrepreneur mother who has an invisible illness that limits her ability to leave the house can still participate in my 1-Minute Miracle decision-making training at her own individual pace.

This is an unprecedented time to serve millions of women and moms who have been traditionally left out of the personal growth space. As we move forward and find a new normal, I believe that online accessibility will get baked into future communications. I certainly will create opportunities that way and couldn’t be more excited.”

So you see, this just opens more doors and gives us more opportunities to grow and improve ourselves. While it’s sad to see many businesses close down and people being let go from their jobs, it also gives us a moment to check on ourselves and ponder what we are doing. When one door closes, another door opens. While some of these changes will be temporary,  surely our way of communication has shifted and it might become the new normal in the long run. 

 

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