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3 innovative ways that technology has enabled a more virtual world

From travel to education, and even the way businesses operate, here are just three noteworthy examples.

zoom video conferencing
Image: Unsplash

The average internet user now spends six hours and 43 minutes online every day, equating to more than 100 days of connected time per user per year.

However, what we do online has changed drastically this year. With global events causing many to change their daily lives, it’s become clear that technology has enabled a virtual world in a number of different creative ways. From travel to education, and even the way businesses operate, here are just three noteworthy examples.

Getting married — virtually

With many people turning to technology like video chat to stay connected with others, many have also taken things to another level when it comes to special events like getting married. In fact, virtual weddings have become a hot trend in 2020, and this is likely for reasons beyond the limitations of in-person gatherings.

For example, holding a virtual wedding allows for guests to participate from all over the globe, effectively cutting out the need to make travel plans (as well as the cost associated with them) for loved ones who live farther away. 

While virtual weddings allow for greater flexibility, couples can also enjoy a lower cost wedding as well, making it a great option for a budget friendly alternative while still incorporating traditional wedding elements — such as requiring a formal dress code. During 2020, virtual weddings also presented an option that allowed couples to still celebrate their special days without having to cancel or postpone.

The Post Oak Hotel, for instance, has successfully hosted several virtual weddings in 2020. That said, virtual weddings may not just be a 2020 trend, as the hotel’s director of special events, Leo Hamel notes, “I think it’s something we will continue to do down the road and make it an offer for people, even after [the pandemic] is over.”

Redefining the way people do business

Many businesses have had to shut their doors this year, but for others, adapting to a virtual world became a must, with technology playing a vital role in businesses remaining open successfully. This includes technology such as web hosting platforms, social media, workplace communication sites/applications, and other helpful tech tools like cybersecurity, which have become a necessity in making the change.

In fact, the web hosting company GoDaddy actually saw a 48% increase in new paying subscribers from February to April, further proving how technology is redefining the way that many now do business.

Taking online education to another level

Technology has also brought online education to life in 2020, with technology taking the virtual education experience to new heights in different ways. For instance, with many institutions utilizing video chat platforms like Zoom to hold classes in a more interactive manner, some are integrating the use of virtual lab simulations to enhance remote learning, or even supplement in-person learning.

For the University System of Maryland, this means partnering with the Copenhagen-based company Labster, which gives universities in the system access to an impressive 150 lab simulations, open to students and potential students looking for things to do in Maryland. Such simulation technology works to effectively give students a visual and interactive experience that can teach a number of things — from techniques to skills and protocol.

2020 has seen a number of daily tasks turn virtual. From businesses transitioning to online storefronts for the first time, to educational institutions turning to innovative virtual lab technology, and even weddings going virtual, it’s clear that tech has enabled a new kind of virtual world in all areas of life.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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