Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Here's a new book we are excited to tell you about as we all try to figure out the role that digital devices will play in our lives post-COVID. Please read to the end for a special offer!
Digital Pandemic - Covid-19: How Tech Went From Bad to Good represents writer Michael Bociurkiw’s efforts to chronicle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the many aspects of our lives. This live reporting project, which commenced in early 2020, documents how technology played a mostly positive role in keeping us connected and productive. It also offers many forward-looking predictions on the likely changes to geopolitics, diplomacy, journalism, travel, social media (and yes - influencers and selfie-takers), the workplace, the home, and much more.
The precursor to this book, Digital Crack, focused on smartphone and social media addiction. Michael said that crucial parts of that work-in-progress were included in Digital Pandemic to give readers a sense of how much screen time young people have spent on their devices, especially during the extended lockdowns. In it, he describes, for example, a visit to a technology addiction center near Seattle where he spoke to young adults receiving treatment. The book also discusses how Singapore, one of the best-prepared nations to face the pandemic, had already jump-started the introduction of e-learning platforms so that students there could continue learning almost without skipping a beat.
But it wasn’t just the adults that were deeply affected. Kids had already voted with their fingers to snuggle up with their devices and abandon outdoor playgrounds. What only marginally worried parents before the pandemic suddenly became an enormous concern during lockdowns as many children clocked up to seven hours each day in front of a screen. And yet, as soon as spring rolled around, those same kids were clamoring to go back outside but couldn’t. Children ended up doing everything at home, which placed huge pressure on ill-prepared parents, according to California educator and developer of the Cyber Civics curriculum Diana Graber. “Kids have to get their schoolwork done on screens. They want to connect with friends on screens. They’re bored because everything is closed, so the screens are entertainment. It’s more important than ever that we prepare our kids to use technology wisely,” Graber said. Without the technology for e-learning, the lockdown would have been much worse for many families. A Bain & Company report said if not for home-based learning, 135-million school children in Southeast Asia would have lost access to education.
Michael says: “We just don’t have the data to show exactly how much extra time kids have been spending on their devices because of learning-from-home and having to stay indoors because of lockdowns. But as Diana indicated, for many kids and parents, it has gone off the charts. The question is: will all of that time indoors motivate kids to spend less time on their devices and more time outdoors and with their friends? It remains to be seen." But Michael does provide some expert advice in the book on how parents, caregivers, and others can help make screen time more productive and enjoyable.
In the book’s Epilogue, Michael provides a forward-looking prediction that will be of interest to parents and educators: “The traumatic memory of the lockdowns could encourage kids to go outside again and spend less time glued to their screens. Conversely, their fear of the outdoors might grow and result in children spending even more time with screens."
SPECIAL OFFER! Visit https://www.digitalpandemicbook.com/buy and click "Direct From Author" where you can enter the promo code: CYBERCIVICS (all caps) to receive $5 off this captivating new book.
For more articles like this one, timely advice, and tips for digital parents, sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter.