2020 In Review For Tech Giants And Teleworking Platforms

tech trends 2020 review teleworking platforms remote jobs content consumption social media use

This past year has forever changed the world both online and offline. The Coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns, social change protests, political upheaval, and economic recession have created a new Covid economy and more time spent online, for better or for worse. 

Remote Work (Working From Home or WFH for short), social media usage trends, and content consumption have all been altered in both the short term and long term.

Social media especially has an immeasurable impact on everybody’s life and its grip on our lives is not decreasing but increasing. If you ever thought about the extent of social media’s influence on your life, then Pew Research Center has some numbers for you. According to their recent survey, 23% of U.S. citizens consider that social media led them to change their opinion on an issue. You might say 23% is not a lot, but it is actually a great deal for platforms that were initially created for the purpose of connecting people from all around the world. Giving social media platforms the power to influence the thinking of individuals, they are much more authoritative these days than ever before. 

We decided to overview last year for social media platforms. Even though 2020 was a very unusual and disturbing year for everyone, tech giants have significantly benefited from it. So, we decided to discuss the particular advantages and modifications each social media platform went through in 2020 and what are the impacts they have on our lives: 

Important Updates On Social Media Platforms 

Whether it was Instagram introducing reels or twitter adding stories to its app last year was truly significant for these platforms. Since the popularity of small videos introduced by TikTok is skyrocketing among generation Z and millennials, other platforms decided to adopt this feature as well. After the talks of banning TikTok in the U.S circulated en masse, the idea of integrating short videos in Instagram became even more attractive. So now Instagram users can also watch 15-second videos as reminiscent of TikTok. Another such update worth mentioning is Twitter adding stories to its platform. Initially created for verbal and textual content, Twitter is now trying to follow the trends and integrate visual content in its platform as well. However, 2021 will have a final say on how successful these modifications will be for the platforms. 

How Our Habits Social Media Content Consumption Changed In 2020? 

According to Forbes social media consumption doubled in 2020 meaning that on average a person now spends 6 hours a day looking at the phone screen. However, this is just an average, so a person on the extreme end might be spending 9-10 hours a day in his/her phone. These numbers are more concerning if we compare them to 2019 when the average daily consumption of the internet was at 3 hours a day. Some of us might be working or studying during the time which they spend looking at phone screens, so we do not say that such a rapid increase in numbers is only due to social media. However, the role of social media platforms should not be diminished here. 

Why You Should Care About The Attention Economy 

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that social media platforms have a hypnotizing nature, which makes its users lose the sense of time while scrolling the feed. Reaching such a degree of influence over people is not easy and requires lots of research and analysis. And this is exactly what social media platforms spend millions on every year, to learn more about their users’ habits, acquire more data about them and then use these materials for creating more personal and targeted ads. Creating attention-grabbing material became especially important in the times of pandemic when people glued to their phones could easily become bored if the content these platforms offered to its users was not engaging and captivating. The tactics adopted by social media platforms for increasing the attention or the number of “eyeballs” landing on the post were always intelligent, but it has bettered much throughout last year. Since the more time we spend on social media, the more time these platforms have to analyze us, our habits, and behavior and then offer us better and more suitable content. Social media is free, but we are paying with our attention and time we spend on these platforms. 

It Depends From Which Angle You Look At It 

The effects of such actions can be devastating as well as profitable depending on the angle you are looking at things. If you are a simple user of social media who easily loses his/herself on social media, then the effects of such indulgence might be harmful to your private or professional life as well as your mental health. However, looking at things from the perspective of a marketer or an individual who is willing to advertise his/her product on social media changes the picture dramatically. Nowadays it is much easier to increase the profits from your website or online shop if you decide to advertise on social media. However, social media platforms are not the only ones that are willing to support their users, advertise better, and increase their profit. Numerous other platforms such as youtubestorm are working towards the goal of increasing the reachability and accessibility of content creators. What social media platforms and their algorithms do is that they target the audience for your advertisement, by analyzing them in detail and hand-picking the most suitable candidates which boosts the reach of your posts significantly. Hence, as in most cases in life, social media is also a platform of a zero-sum game. 

How Pandemics Has Changed The Way We See Virtual Reality 

The way social media platforms have smarten, grown, and developed last year is fascinating, but surprisingly other actors on the internet managed to surpass the popularity of them. These are teleworking platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Most of us probably didn’t even know the names of these platforms a year ago, but today we are reliant on them. Whether it is for studying or working almost everyone knows these platforms now starting from school student to a company employee, conferences are held on these platforms and even the governments are using them. Hence, since we were forced to move all of our daily business to the internet, it is not a surprise that the number of daily users has not doubled or tripled, but in the case of Zoom, the increase was tenfold in the first three months. However, the missteps of Zoom in regards to end-to-end encryption resulted in Microsoft Teams catching up and surpassing the growth of Zoom. Considering the growth of users on these platforms, it is not easy to guess that not only their popularity has increased last year but their stock prices as well. 

Pros And Cons Of Teleworking 

It is not only our work life that was disrupted but our emotional well-being as well. Everything is comparative and the impact will differ across various professions, age groups, and locations as well. There are simply some professions that are not so easily manageable on distance, while others are more flexible towards such alterations. Reduction in interpersonal relations, the inability of performance monitoring, increase in sedentary lifestyles all might have an impact on our physical and mental health, and the quality of work as well. However, the quality of work is the least concerning now when at the stake is the well-being of your employees. On top of that, studies have shown that teleworking does not actually have a devastating impact on the quality of our work. On the contrary, the impact of teleworking is quite positive when it comes to the performance of the employees. However, the essential part of human life interpersonal communication, and its absence can have a negative impact on us. 

The Future of Teleworking 

Despite the fact that teleworking might affect our health negatively, it has significant advantages that we can not neglect. It reduces air pollution due to the decrease in the number of commuters; it saves the costs of office maintenance, which is a very beneficial factor for the employers. The human’s brain has a tendency to stick to one thing after realizing that it works hence there is a high chance that after weighing the pros and cons of teleworking the employers decide that teleworking is a better solution. However, we still need to figure out ways of establishing work-life balance from home because teleworking was named the main factor behind the disruption in this balance. 

Teleworking Conclusion 

The year 2020 has been harmful in many ways, but it does not mean that we should ignore the benefits it has brought along. Technological advances are on the rise today, and the speed of developments occurring in technologies puts humans far ahead of what was expected because such speed of technological innovation was not anticipated. As a result, the digital world is developing at a high speed with social media and teleworking platforms being more influential, popular, and powerful than ever before. With the fact that the entire world had to move to the internet, the stock prices and popularity of entertainment and communication platforms are dramatically increasing. However, all of this has consequences for users. Depending on the angle from which we look at things, the benefits of social media platforms can be devastating as well as beneficial. The same applies to teleworking platforms that can have a positive impact on employers in certain fields in 2021 but can be very damaging to the health of employees.

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