The world of apps is expanding at an astounding rate. As the pandemic continues to hold us in its grip, forcing local, national, and global governments, institutions, and businesses to continually reevaluate their reaction to the virus, the use of the internet and especially social media and communication apps will continue to increase.
Ever since their introduction just a few years ago, smartphone apps have become an indispensable part of everyday life for most technologically advanced societies. The relative cheapness of owning a smartphone and purchasing apps (which are often offered for free anyways) has leveled the playing field in so many ways for so many people — from China to Mali to Peru to France. Even when incomes are modest and the cost of living is high, the homeless and the persecuted are able to keep in touch with the world, and each other, with mobile devices and their apps. It’s been a true revolution that has rearranged the paradigms of power, politics, religion, app developers and economics.
Now the pandemic has pushed cyber boundaries even further. Now more than ever it’s imperative for people from all walks of life to be able to monitor health news, economic forecasts, medical bulletins, and, perhaps most importantly, their own state of health. This is all being done with new apps.
Social isolation is proving to be less of a burden to those who take full advantage of smartphone apps; they are able to stay in touch with their work, with their families, to monitor their own welfare, and to keep track of finances and even local, national, and world events in real time. All of this can give a person living in imposed isolation a sense of control and power that helps stave off, perhaps even reverse, the debilitating effects of being cooped up in a single living area for possibly months at a time, with little opportunity or motivation to go out.
The most popular new apps seem to be those that tie directly into our health and fitness. Taking a digital pilates class or yoga instruction is now as easy as the click of a button. And the good news is that many digital exercise classes are absolutely free. Special apps are available for those times when your stress level, and consequently your blood pressure, start to go through the roof. Using these apps as needed, individuals can actually bring their blood pressure and heart rate down to healthy sustainable levels with some simple meditation exercises.
It should be noted that one of the main reasons many apps are free or inexpensive is that advertisers are paying good money to get their ads in front of you when you access an app. That’s one of the negatives we pay for inexpensive but useful apps.
And let’s not forget about tracking apps. Those with a social conscience are already cheering on the ability to track individuals who may pose as an infection risk, or loved ones who are headed towards an infection hotspot and need to be warned.
While personal privacy issues are still being debated about these kind of apps, there’s no doubt they are going to grow in importance and usage in the next few months — no matter what we think about them