Piedmont Symposium: The Future of Telecommunications Due to COVID-19

As COVID-19 is taking its toll, society is already seeing how telecommunications is playing a unique role, such as the barrage of social media posts demanding the country reopen.

“There’s no rulebook; we’ve never experienced something like this, so how are we supposed to know what to do,” said junior Garrett Stafford. “When someone can’t work, you just don’t pay them. That’s just how it is and this just didn’t fly on social media. Everyone was very mad and due to this social media backlash they immediately went back on their word and said fine we’ll pay everyone. Obviously in a crazy time like this we can’t do normal things.”

Stafford and his classmates in the telecommunications and globalization course presented a session, “Coronavirus: The Impact on Telecommunications” at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium.

Senior Marion Mealor noted that in the life of an average US citizen, telecommunication plays a huge role. The use of technology to stay active and connect with those around us has already been evolving before COVID-19, but now that students of all ages have online classes and we are in a semi lockdown so technology use has immensely grown in recent weeks.

Joey Brovont and Cameron Graham explored 5G smartphone subscriptions, and noted that they are rising in almost every major world region. The future of 5G is exceptionally bright even out of quarantine and will be a key factor in telecommunication for the near future.

Senior Alyssa Emmett said that the increasing reliance on technology has evoked concern among some in the population. “Some people are concerned that maybe if they’re too connected to technology that it could cause us to lose important aspects of the human experience,” she said “Some of these worries include losing patience; our patience is really tested when we have to wait for things to load, things not working properly. Acting impulsively; we’ve been seeing a lot of ads and stuff from stores because they’re trying to get revenue during this time where people can’t go out shopping. Also, forgetting things and even becoming narcissistic.”

Juniors Matt Leeman and Cameron Verona considered the future of telecommunications. Leeman discussed the potential growth of working from home for those who can and protecting our community during the pandemic. He also went into the advancements of smart devices for businesses, homes, and more for whatever will help prevent the spread and benefit the communities. Verona noted how much technology has vastly improved and argues that is concerned about how much people rely on technology.

“This dependency on smartphones has gotten a little out of hand,” he said, noting that exceptions need to be made during the pandemic. “Out of hand isn’t really fair with the current situation of the world now is it, because smartphones are actually getting us through each day.”

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