Remember when hitting the road for a faraway adventure was just a thing we did? Or how about hopping on a plane hungry for an international escape or going to the latest restaurant across town just so you could feed your feed?
It’s a time we’re calling “Life B.C.”, - Life before COVID - where life-on-the-go was a thing we chased. But being forced to stay inside has changed all of that and now has us building a new kind of connection to the people, shops and leaders that make up our communities.
Post-pandemic, experiences in real life will rebirth our local lives. And that means our world will never be our oyster again. Instead, our neighbourhood blocks will take up that role. Apps like Nextdoor are already seeing that shift - as they go from a once complaint-centric platform to a place where neighbours help neighbours. Here people are finding ways to really connect with their community through simple but impactful acts. Like picking-up medication for elderly neighbours, to posting restock updates at shops. And that thirst for travel we talked about, well, it’s not going away. Instead, we’ll choose microadventures: adventures within an hour of our doorstep - keeping ourselves and our money closer to home. This return to life at home is also amplifying the appreciation we feel towards local leaders - the ones with the ability to directly impact our day-to-day lives. Staying in with our neighbourhoods means the urge for community-based activities will surge.
“LocalHarvest.com, a site that connects consumers with CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), saw site traffic quadruple during COVID.” - Google Trends
And support for small business will rise. Searches for the keywords “support small business” have increased by 135% on Pinterest (April 2020). More time at home will also have us reevaluating how our cities should function - with the mayor of Paris calling for a 15-minute city. The idea that people should have access to everything they need within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. We’re already seeing cities across the globe redesigning the layout of their cities. This includes widening sidewalks and increasing the number of bike lanes so that residents are motivated to hang out.
Now more than ever, brands and businesses will need to adjust to our new needs. And become aware of how we’re now letting our transactional interactions live online, like Zoom first dates and telehealth doctor appointments, while setting the highest bar for what we actually value and do in real life. It’s time to take our In Real Life lives to the next level by reinvesting in our communities and most importantly, in each other.