COVID And The Exponential Data Increase
In March, during the first lockdown experienced by the united states in decades, the average US household increased its data usage by 4 gigabytes a day. Connectivity quickly became people’s lifeline to connect with loved ones and keep their productivity in work and personal lives high. In an article by the New York Times, it is mentioned that increased data usage isn’t the only overall behavioral change related to how we interact with the internet.
If you stop to examine the impossible change we have gone through in the last six months, it’s pretty astounding. Young students haven’t been able to interact with their peers, a valuable process in the growth of a child. Families have separated to mitigate their health risks, and business have made staggering adjustments in day to day productivity.
America is craving human contact, and with a shift in time spent at home, we’ve noticed a considerable change in people’s behaviors and their consumption of technology. A few of the most significant changes are the need to communicate via video chat and the rise in educational resources accessed daily. The Times quoted an estimated 7 million Zoom sessions daily at the beginning of March, so the assumption of further surged numbers is accurate. Video Calls aren’t limited to just Zoom either; many similar platforms mentioned in the article have drastically increased in the last six months.
However, the most interesting piece of data is the platforms used to access the everyday internet. According to Statista, a statistical research evaluator, even with the astounding number of millennials stuck at home with their cellphones, connected TV and other streaming interfaces surpassed phone usage by more than triple the amount. To see a decline in the use of cellphones is something we never thought we would see. Between the younger generation’s adoption of new technology and the instant gratification and impatience Americans crave, the decline of cellular activity may be the only positive thing to come out of COVID19.
It will be interesting to see if these patterns in America are subject to change over the next 6-12 months, or if our current consumption behaviors become the new normal.