If you talked to a millennial two months ago, they would have told you there is nothing more anxiety provoking than a real-time phone call. Yet in the solitude of quarantine, a craving for personal connection means people want to hear each other’s voices and see each other’s faces.
Quarantine and the COVID-19 crisis are completely rewriting our cultural rules of communication. But the ways we’re corresponding will shift how we connect well beyond the lockdown.
Here are some of the changes that are likely to be with us long after the pandemic is over:
1: Digital communities are more democratic.
Celebrities are livestreaming with anyone who asks to join in. Anonymous Zoom dance parties take place nightly. Ordered to stay home, it took only a few days for folks to start broadcasting themselves, mostly to chaotic ends. While it might seem haphazard, each interaction is an expansion of community that chips away at our cultural fear of IRL intimacy and democratizes digital communities.