It’s all digital

Published February 2, 2021, 11:52 PM

by Former Senate President Manny Villar

OF TREES AND FOREST

Former Senate President
Manny Villar

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of technologies not only in surviving the lockdown but in navigating the new normal as we start to revive our economy and restart social activities. Some of these technologies were already existing prior to the pandemic but their applicability and utility were heightened when we had to stay at home in order to control the spread of the virus. And I think many of these technologies are here to stay even when we eradicate the coronavirus.

Digital technology has opened up possibilities with the way we communicate, how we do business, how we earn a living, how we learn, how we watch, and even how we get healthcare. It’s a new world and it’s an exciting and amazing one!

One of the most obvious uses of digital technology was in the way we bought essentials and other stuff. When the hard lockdown was implemented, we were ordered to stay home and online shopping boomed. Our smartphones and computers became our shopping carts as we bought food, groceries, medicines and other things we needed online.

Even when government eased restrictions and we began to go to groceries and supermarkets, contactless digital payment technologies ensured that we can purchase goods safely, thereby avoiding the spread of the virus. Many of us paid bills online before but during the lockdown, that was the only option. Even government used e-wallets to distribute financial assistance.

Digital technology also played a key role as the economy started reopening. Many companies instituted work-from-home arrangements. Employees began working remotely and had to use virtual meeting platforms, cloud technology, and work collaboration tools in order to ensure productivity while in the corner of their bedroom watching their kids sleep.

Education and health has gone digital too. Teachers and students had to scramble to get the hardware and the software to facilitate online learning while health maintenance organization resorted to online clinic consultations as a way to contain the spread of COVID-19 while still providing essential primary care.

Family reunions, parties, museum tours, and other social activities migrated online. Even streaming companies like Netflix had to limit bandwidth speed as people binged on movies while at home. Online gaming also surged giving entertainment and, even a livelihood, to many.

Digital technology definitely makes our lives better not by being controlled by it but by making social and economic activities more efficient. Gadgets are not just toys or useless extravagance, they are essential in competing and surviving our new world. I remember before when parents would tell their kids who want to buy the latest toy or gadget, “luho lang yan!” Today, it’s impossible to navigate our modern world without some of these digital technologies.

I was looking at our newest offering, All Digital — a tech emporium that offers a wide variety of gadgets — laptops, cellphones, cameras, drones, e-scooters, and even collectible toys—and I began thinking how different our lives were when we were still young. I remember being excited when the pager became popular or, much earlier, when the fax machine was a staple of every offices. Now, these gadgets are extinct. The pace of development in digital technology is just amazing.

I am not an expert techie but I’m no techie dummy either so I appreciate the need for a tech hub that houses nothing but the best-selling premium products where we can get access to the latest in digital technology. We launched AllDigital as part of the 50th store of AllHome and we envisioned it as a one-stop shop for all the technology needs of your home and home office. It also captures our belief that we need to be sensitive to the changing needs of our consumers.

Digital technology, of course, is not meant to squeeze out the humanity in all of us. It is meant to complement our existence. As Elbert Hubbard once wrote, “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men.  No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

 
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