The COVID-19 crisis: a rebirth of actual society?
The arrival of COVID-19 has literally changed our daily lives. What used to considered as fun, such as shopping or buying fresh vegetables at the marketplace, has become a source of concerns. It seems that this crisis has pushed humans to move away from what we could call "The consumer society" to focus on themes more essential to human like health and survival.
With the peak of social networks and selfies, a form of egocentricity and individualism has developed. A quest for perfection is also intensified, in particular because of the many filters that make the skin smoother, enlarge the eyes, etc. Everything on social media leads to getting the latest fashion products and being as trendy as possible. However, according to Kantar’s study, a large majority of the population is more concerned about the health of their peers than their own. Exit individualism. Exit compulsive shopping. At this point, it would be legitimate to ask whether these new concerns will persist over time even after the eradication of this pandemic.
Currently, the health crisis has negatively impacted a large majority of businesses. Only the digital sector is enjoying positive development. Indeed, internet traffic has increased by 70% since the start of the crisis. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as well as online video games have benefited from a clear increase. The increase notably caused the delay by two weeks of the opening in France of the long-awaited Disney platform. Since the majority of the European population is locked up at home, black screens are now the only source of information, of shopping but also of escape.
Indeed, the purchase of non-essential goods, such as clothes or cosmetics, is in wide recession. This also concerns e-commerce which, for 76% of the sites, recorded a drop in sales. The only e-commerce that has greatly increased in recent weeks is the ones of supermarkets. Even people who have never used it have started to use it. Drives such as « Intermarché » and « Leclerc » or home delivery such as « Coop at home » are expanding. This has become the new trend to avoid taking risks of getting the virus, even local traders such as farmers or winegrowers are going into home delivery to continue their business.
We might think that today, there are two types of businesses: those that are reinventing themselves to keep their business going and those that are reinventing themselves to help people. The latter can be broken down into two aspects such as material aid and psychological aid. According to Kantar’s study, luxury and fashion, which are two major markets, are in free fall. Unlike the majority of sectors, they are not trying to reinvent themselves or boost their online sales. Their current actions are much more commendable, they have stopped their usual activity in order to help society. The fashion giant Armani has even abandoned its classic industry in order to manufacture gowns and essentials for medical staff. LVMH also requisitioned its perfume factories to create sanitizer.
Psychological help can go through the discovery of new things, as with the recent activity of museums and their digital galleries (cf. Article by Kizano). It can also go through humor as with the Instagram channel Creustel which is run by a couple of comedians using scenes from iconic films by modifying the dialogues. Despite everything, the social network that seems to be the most popular is Tik Tok. Indeed, this application heavily used is attracting more and more people. In view of the social restrictions due to the current situation, Tik Tok has seen his first special COVID-19 viral content, the "Corona Foot Shake" which has been repeated thousands of times and this is only the first of a long line.
During this crisis, we are spectators of incredible mutual aid. Those whom we considered to be power-hungry are the first to lend a hand, as superficial curbs their purchases, as ignorant of new technologies integrate into it. This health crisis teaches us that nothing is static and that human beings can adapt despite everything. Will these changes continue over time or is it just a momentary pause to restart with great fanfare afterwards? Only the eradication of this virus and the return to normal life will tell us.
Kizano is also trying to fit into this psychological help by organizing games on social networks. Our goal is to allow the interested population to be able to disconnect. Even though we don't have the reputation of big international brands, our first interactive game for Easter allowed a number of people to have fun during the game.
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