COVID-19 and Internet Usage

by Brandon Botha

My project looks at how theCOVID-19 pandemic impacted how people interact with one another virtually and how people kept busy virtually. My own firsthand experience started when my brother, myself, and my mother all had to do our work remotely. This meant we had to upgrade our internet plan to account for this and switched from cable to streaming. This ultimately led to us finding out there was a limit to our data; something that we did not think we had before was a data cap. This is what really interested me in discussing this as I know my family cannot be the only one. Plenty of news articles and research articles based around the U.S. suggest that there is a general increase in website usage since the beginning of march of last year. For example, websites like Facebook received a healthy increase of activity, up 27% (The New York Times). I reference research on the impact that the lockdown had on internet latency, forcing websites such as YouTube to throttle quality options due to high internet usage. Things like these helps show what kind of impact the internet is having on society as a whole especially last year. With the rise of apps such as Zoom for not only communication between families and friends, but also a necessity for most students as that is the main way classes seemed to be conducted throughout 2020. I argue that the internet provided an important part during the lockdown period as many people relied on the internet to prevent boredom and ultimately overused the internet to almost harmful ways. My project is based on research articles and news articles, but primary data were also collected using my own family’s use of data and how it affected my family’s view on internet usage since then.

Bibliography

Candela, M., Luconi, V., & Vecchio, A. (2020). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Internet latency: A large-scale study. Computer Networks, 182, 107495.

Koeze, E., & Popper, N. (2020, April 07). The virus changed the way we internet., from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/07/technology/coronavirus-internetuse.html

Léger, D., Beck, F., Fressard, L., Verger, P., Peretti-Watel, P., & COCONEL Group (2020). Poor sleep associated with overuse of media during the COVID-19 lockdown. Sleep, 43(10), zsaa125. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsaa125

Wijesooriya, N. R., Mishra, V., Brand, P. L., & Rubin, B. K. (2020). COVID-19 and telehealth, education, and research adaptations. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews

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