What is the importance of online communities during Covid-19? Covid-19 and lockdowns have drastically changed the world, and everyone is feeling the effect. While people are sitting at home, working at their laptops in their kitchens, some people still need to physically go out to work and mix with people.
Those two groups are pretty well segregated, most of the time. However, there is one, not so small, caveat to that scenario. That is when people need others to help them with physical problems. For example, when you need tech support to come to your home and repair your PC or when your washing machine is broken. That line may seem quite well drawn, obvious, and easy to avoid, or at least minimize.
However, when you have other issues, such as understanding what a Hautlk Rack is, you cannot just ask your friend to come over and show you. Yes, you always have the option to call them, but what if they do not know? That is exactly where online communities come in.
Why Are Online Communities Important During Covid-19?
There are so many aspects of our lockdown-life that you can enhance through online communities, from talking to people and gaining a sense of, well, community, to things such as help with learning new languages and even doing repairs that would cost you a lot of money. While talking to people is a crucial aspect of everyday life and wellbeing, we will mainly focus on other, more technical aspects.
Let’s take another look at one of our examples above. So, your washing machine breaks, and you have no idea what to do with it. The last thing that you want to do is pay for an engineer to come out to you and repair it. That is especially true when you have no idea about where they have been or who they have had contact with. But that leaves you stranded, no idea how to get your washing done, and I can bet my bottom dollar that you don’t want to wash all of your clothes in the bath.
If you have a more modern washing machine, you will have an error code or other obvious symptoms, such as no lights. That is where an online community can help you.
You now have the option to go onto one of these forums and pose your question to other, more knowledgable people – one of which may well be the engineer that you would have called out. You can talk through the symptoms in near real-time and get an online diagnosis about the fault, usually with very high accuracy.
Much like your washing machine, a computer error will also show signs of what the fault is. Luckily, we are in the tech era, and most people have more than one way of accessing the internet. Therefore, if your PC breaks, you use your phone, and vice versa.
Most of us need both for different tasks, such as connecting with friends on social media with our phones and working with our PCs. One of them doesn’t work; we are stuck, again. You can now go onto an online forum and ask for help. There are usually thousands, if not millions of people on those forums, who can give you some guidance should you need it.
There are times when we are using a program, whether it is for a hobby or job, that we simply can not get the program to work as we would like. Most places have technical support, but what about when you need it to work and need it now? You guessed it; you can get on a forum and find out if it is only you experiencing the issue, if it is more widespread, or even if you have found a bug in the program. Not to mention the number of people waiting and willing to guide you.
Once you know what the fault is, you can also find out how to fix it. The very same people on the forum are usually knowledgeable enough about the issue they have found the fix. The great thing about forums is that they are a literal community, just online instead of in your street.
That means that most people are willing and able to help you fix it, too. Sometimes, the answer may not be as inviting as you like, such as a new washing machine motor (they cost almost as much as a new machine), formatting your phone, or deleting all of your files and reinstalling your programs. However, you have not had to pay for a single call-out to find that out.
Luckily, most of the time, people’s problems have a much simpler resolution, and there are people out there that will guide you through the process as you are doing it or writing it in a step-by-step guide that you can follow. If you ever get stuck, just hop back onto the forum, and ask for more help.
Online Communities During Covid-19 – Conclusion
Online communities are connecting people more than ever before. They can leave us feeling more social than we were pre-Covid-19, with more knowledge, and with more money, too. If you are unsure about how well they can help you, next time you have a problem that you cannot solve, and no one has the answer (not even Google), get onto a forum and ask. You will be pleasantly surprised.