7 Ways To Take Advantage Of Technology During COVID-19
Taking advantage of technology during COVID-19 to stay in touch, informed and ahead of the curve is a rising pastime. As the coronavirus continues to reshape the way millions communicate and interact on a day-to-day basis, it’s only natural that more and more of us are leaning on high-tech solutions to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
Luckily, there’s never been a better time to put the power of technology to work for you. Here are 7 ways to take advantage of technology during COVID-19 that can help you make the most of your time social distancing.
1. Getting Groceries Delivered
So much for wasting hours at the local store picking out produce and having to play parkour as you work to stay 6 feet away from fellow patrons. Suddenly, many local grocers are offering online ordering and curbside pickup, while a variety of mobile app providers from Instacart to Amazon Fresh, FreshDirect, DoorDash and Postmastes can also deliver food right to your door.
If you’d like to save time on meal planning, be sure to check out services like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Plated which ship prepackaged ingredients and recipes straight to your home on-demand as well.
2. Using Videoconferencing Solutions To Stay Connected
Numerous videoconferencing solutions such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Houseparty and Facebook’s Messenger Rooms video chat features now allow us to communicate with friends and family in real time. Whether catching up with loved ones, hosting virtual happy hours and trivia nights, or throwing online birthday parties with dozens of participants, all offer great ways to stay in touch.
Remember that social distancing doesn’t have to equal social isolation: If you’re feeling lonely, just fire up one of these services – or, for that matter, Netflix Party group screening features – and enjoy time catching up with those who matter most.
3. Capitalizing On Price Trackers
We know you’re already using comparison shopping sites and services (e.g. those offered by your favorite search engine) to compare prices on household items and electronics. But don’t forget to go one step further and set up price-tracking alerts that can keep you abreast of products’ pricing histories, so you know whether you’re getting a good deal or you’re at risk of overpaying for any given purchase.
Web browser extensions like CamelCamelCamel and Keepa make a fine place to start, especially as they list results right on select retailers’ product pages.
4. Clipping Virtual Coupons
Haven’t installed free web browser extensions such as Honey or RetailMeNot Deal Finder – which automatically apply a selection of possible discounts to any purchase before online checkout – yet?
Now’s the perfect time to get them set up, or start adding the words “coupon code” to the end of any online search for a product that you make, which will lead you to a variety of websites where you can find money-saving promotional codes in seconds. These special offers can save you hundreds on popular items from clothes to electronics over the course of any given year, and they’re free to apply to your purchase.
5. Getting Your Finances In Order
Our sister company, Rocket HQ's list of the best budgeting apps of 2020 can help you set a household budget and find ways to save more money in minutes. Earlier in 2020 we also compiled helpful tips on side hustles you can pursue to earn extra cash from home, and how to take unwanted stuff that’s lying around the house and pick up a few additional bucks by selling it online.
Now’s also a great time to review your investment or retirement portfolio using your favorite provider’s online or mobile app, and make any needed adjustments. Similarly, it’s a good time to consider if it makes sense to apply for a personal or home loan depending on your household’s needs.
6. Planning Your Next Vacation
Experts remain torn on when we’ll be able to travel again. But surveys show that most of us believe it’s simply a temporary hiccup, and that 72% of us are already planning our next vacation. Noting this, it’s a great time to visit your favorite online travel site to explore possible destinations, and get a sense of the latest pricing (hint: it’s way better than it was just 60 days ago) on hotels and flights.
You may also wish to install popular mobile apps such as Kayak, Skyscanner, Hopper and HotelTonight, which can help you score great deals, or monitor the best times to travel, so you’re ready to dive right in the minute it’s safe for tourists to get moving.
7. Staying Informed And Keeping Cool
Updates on COVID-19 and related news stories are coming in constantly. To stay on top of them, you can check out tools created by Johns Hopkins, the WHO and the CDC, or your favorite news media outlet’s app or website.
In addition, with all the ambiguous noise, it’s important to maintain your mental health. Several downloadable apps such as Calm, Talkspace and Headspace can help you chill out and relax, or seek out healthcare providers, as needed.
As you can see, when it comes to taking advantage of technology during COVID-19, virtual solutions can serve as more than just a tool for keeping on top of daily tasks. Numerous apps, cloud online services and websites can also provide you with a helpful lifeline to friends and loved ones, and be a source of information and insight about what’s happening in the world at large.
The more you make a point to install or get connected to them, the sooner you’ll see how much of a boon that they can really be.
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