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The Rise of Digital Immigrants: Beyond the pandemic

“We are not in normal times". You are probably tired of hearing this as much as I am.

Before the COVID-19 narrative andthe endless clichés surrounding the use of phrases such as “new normal”, “social/physical distancing”, “quarantine”, etc., numerous pre-millennials -Generation X, Baby Boomers and earlier -may have never bothered to ask about Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or Whatsapp video calls. A few people who match this description may have just crossed your mind.

In Ghana, three weeks of a partial lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, brought us to the realization that,the need for connectivity was very much inherent in the older generation as much as it was in their younger counterparts. The first quarter of 2020 saw Telecommunications companies such as MTN, record a 19.4% increase in data revenue due to thesignificant spike in active data users and smartphone adopters, according to their Quarter 1 results, released on April29, 2020.1As at October 292020, the company reported a 20.7% growthin data revenue ascribed to similarreasons.2Others suchasVodafone Ghana, launched a virtual assistant,TOBi to provide 24-hour customer service to enhance customer engagement during this period of COVID-19 andbeyond.

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