The pandemic has brought many things surface, but as I work with my roster of usual clients (I'm a graphic designer) I'm caught by surprise at the growing gulf between those who wish to return to "normal" (don't we all) and those who have pushed forward to embrace technology in an effort to create "normal-ish". Some of the solutions that have come up during the pandemic are poor substitutes (distance learning, I'm looking at you), but at least function. Some of the solutions work better than the original (Zoom with out of state friends!). But what I see is that the clients who are embracing technology to remain connected are going to have an on-going and continued advantage over organizations that take the "we'll just wait for normal to come back" approach even after the pandemic subsides.
Honestly, I don’t believe that normal is going to come back. That is not a negative prediction. It’s an estimate based on what I know about history and technology. Humans are always looking for “faster” and once we’ve found a new faster way to do things, we don’t go back to slower. So all the shortcuts we’ve developed are going to stick with us. The organizations who think that everything will go back to the way it was are going to be severely disappointed. And I think this rule can be brought down to an individual level as well.
Which has made me ponder what "normal" am I clinging to for the sake of familiarity? Am I afraid of being a different person tomorrow because it would require change today? What challenges have I been avoiding because they would require me to dig in, learn, and potentially fail? Learning something new is hard, but results are clear — trying new things keeps us connected, flexible and more likely to survive. And as I stated slash possibly sang and danced to in my last Zoom dance party, I Will Survive.
Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she's not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and BookBub.