THANKS to Amazon, our pantries are always full. Thanks to Google and Zoom, kids are still going to school, while their parents work from home. Thanks to Instagram and Twitter, we can drink examples of the human spirit that exists in detaining people; or else, thanks to Netflix, Apple, and Hulu, we don’t have any real-time reports and plans. Thanks to Facebook, we can keep our latest news on the virus spreading and the best ways to fight it.
We know, a crisis can increase the credibility of emerging communication tools. Americans kidnapped in Iran brought viewers to new CNN and paved the way for 24-hour news. The 9/11 attacks have raised web-based news to print proposals. A recent New York Times article revealed that Big Tech could come next, coming from the current crisis “more powerful than ever.”
This improved position will not only come from our gratitude to these companies for rising through the difficult times, but from the recognition that it is too late to incorporate new technologies into our lives. The coronavirus epidemic will be similar to those free monthly tests followed by the registration option, but worldwide. Why don’t most of us work remotely? Shouldn’t we include personalization and digital teaching resources in schools? Do we need to go into a store where online shopping is reliable and efficient? Whenever we wake up tonight, there is a chance that we will wake up to a world with Big Tech even more at the center of our lives.
However if this new reality is there, it will be a great sign that nothing has changed. The gradual destruction of technology, of our institutions — local cuisine, local newspaper, trade union, community center — would mean not only to increase their speed, but also to pursue greater speed. The reduction in long-term social mobilization promoted by Silicon Valley would take a strong root, but would be further enhanced by the ensuing, inevitable disaster.