There are no shortage of headlines and stories in the news (actual news, not Twitter or whatever the current social media of the day is) about how the transition to working online might be permanent. This. Is. A. Bad. Idea.
Working online separates us from our colleagues and people in general. Yes, the current state of great jobs are all tech based that can mostly be done from anywhere. However, this ignores the fact that human beings need social interaction of some kind: not virtual interaction, actually being present with them.
Perhaps the transition to online work would be better, but there is no evidence that would suggest this is true. It is important to consider the social cost accompanied with the transition to working on-line. First, human labor did not change much until the first industrial revolution. Hand labor accomplished everything that humans needed. Almost overnight (at least considering the existence of modern humans is ~200,000 years old) we transitioned to factories, replacing human labor with that of machines. For the wealthy, this did not change much, but for the rest of society it was a shock. The industrial revolution took place ~300 years ago and that is a considerably short amount of time for things to change so quickly.
Secondly, moving things online would only exacerbate the divide between the haves and the have-nots. People that are disadvantaged in society (and there are a lot) already face tremendous hurdles for taking part in the digital economy. How often have you seen ‘apply online’ for what might be considered unskilled labor? It might be easy for college graduates to apply for jobs online, but what about those without home internet? Those without smart phones? ‘Just go to the library and pull yourself up by the boot straps.’ Easier said than done.
The rumblings of work online serve to benefit a select few, while leaving the most vulnerable people out of luck. This is not right. This turns our back on our fellow human beings. Regardless of your spiritual affiliation (or perhaps lack thereof) anyone who is not a sociopath has at least some sympathy for other people. Creating an economy that continues to marginalize the most vulnerable is not the right thing to do and will only serve to increase the profits of people like Jeff Bezos, whose company made $800,000,000,000 in 2018 yet paid NOTHING in federal taxes.
This is not a rant to eat the rich, but is an appeal for everyone to be kind and consider those who are not as fortunate.