How covid-19 has disrupted the digital space

By Aisha Wanjiku

Years 2020/2021 were upon us and the digital space hasn’t been the same since the “parapanda” happened. It was unexpected and too loud to be ignored just like how I imagine it would sound when the world ends.

Who? What? How? the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic was here with us. Clearly, all our compasses were broken and not even Google maps could help us.
This was just how disrupted the socials were. The good, the bad, and the ugly depending on how
quickly you adjusted. Everyone has a different perspective and I choose to focus on the good.

Not being able to go outside as we used to from simple hugs to handshakes we all realized how
important the human senses are especially touch (for me). Things like just having a chat with
someone over a cup of tea that we took for granted suddenly mattered or just hanging out with the
squad and going on and on about nothing.

The digital space also got its fair of change …most probably because most people shifted online thanks to the lockdowns. A good case in point is Apps like ClubHouse. The latter  got popular as it created a platform for strangers to come together and interact
through voice which I believe birthed the now Spaces on Twitter.

Artists going Live (Instagram, YouTube, etc) to perform to their audiences and them being able to react in real-time really brought people together as I believe this somehow brought down the time walls by connecting audiences from all parts of the world.

Now that the outside was closed, most people turned to their devices to find different ways of
entertainment. Podcasts have become more popular as we saw the rise and fall of Quarantine Radio
hosted by Tory Lanez. It really did give us all sleepless nights and some serious eye bugs.

People being more online made them consume content like crazy and the content creators really
got what they deserved in terms of views and monies. It was finally payday for all who have been
putting in work.

The audience that had been consuming content from a fresh angle started appreciating the work that influencers and creators put in just to entertain them.

Being curious to know the covid numbers and situation around the world made accounts like
SpectatorIndex (on Twitter) gain popularity as they constantly updated us on the number of
infections and even deaths across the globe.

We moved from our daily prime time news to now wanting updates. Let’s talk about business now,
most businesses especially those that depended on walk-in customers now had to go digital. This
saw the genesis of Instagram Shop, a feature that allows one to set up their online shop with all
their contacts and put up their respective products.

Fast foods, clothing stores, beauty shops, etc
now had to be more innovative in order to maintain old clients as they gain new ones.

An app like Goby by SCANAD was set up to help out small businesses to stay in business. This was so thoughtful, actually, one of the best things that I loved about the 2020 covid period was humanity. People were more kind and considerate of others.

Different positive campaigns and drives came up to help those in need and to save lives. We had the
likes of Little cab partnered with several hospitals to offer free rides to their customers who required
essential medical attention during curfew hours.

We had different food drives for those who lost
their businesses and jobs in this ongoing “pararira” (hullaballoo). Personally, I had a thread where people shared their pending water, electricity, and rent bills including their respective accounts and good
samaritans would pay.

Finally, let me just give a shoutout to  “boda bodas” because they really helped many people get to various destinations despite their reputation for unruly behavior.  We should clap for them
and give them the recognition they deserve for the role they played during this covid. Imagine that
momma who just broke her water in the village and it’s past curfew hours and they need that baby
delivered as soon as possible. Forget about that person leaving the bar and needing to be home
before the night prep begins LOL. All you needed was their number and you would get to your destination within a few minutes.

Oh how can I forget the “My Crib 2020 edition” that was hosted by Joan Kubai that made us almost feel like the rest of us don’t live enough!