The digitization of social interaction
The health crisis caused by COVID-19 has promoted a contactless society for a few months, eliminating interaction between people and causing an inevitable irruption of technology at all levels. In South Korea, this concept has been given the name of ‘UN-CONTACT’ (without contact) and has made it one of the key development factors for the future where the reduction of the need for contact between people prevails. However, if the human being is a social being by nature, how can we explain this desire for change?
It is true that technology has helped to cope with the pandemic and has been used to do everything we did at work, on the street, or in the gym, but now from home. This isolated way of life has become our new normal since the last months of confinement. For some, like South Korea, this has been the continuation of a path made for years, understood as the natural evolution of modern society. Nevertheless, have we all followed the path together and not just digital natives? The answer is no. The elderly, among others, have been left behind; making the digital divide and the social problem that this entails even more visible. Not only is physical access to technology a barrier for many people, but also not knowing how to use it is even more important.
Our sector, with the sports and health centers as practice spaces, integrated the virtual offer during the confinement so that its users could continue doing physical activity and sports from home. However, that group of older people who did an activity at the sports center every Tuesday and Thursday, have they been able to access digital content? This was, is, and will be one of the key points of the entire digital integration process since technology not only appeared to facilitate processes and life in general during the state of alarm, but it continues to be present and does not seem to be going back to point where he was at the beginning of everything.
Thus, sport, like many other sectors, will have to make the digital world fit within a social context where before the main role was in the hands of presence, contact, and physical interaction. Providing users with tools and resources for correct virtual access to physical-sporting practice and improving processes, among others, will be essential to obtain successful experiences, minimize barriers, and guarantee universal access to sport from anywhere.