Written by: Jessica Baldachin
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have found myself online more than usual. There are many causes which could explain the reason for this; but whether it be the lack of socialization or the boredom, something has definitely changed.
This being said, should we be looking to replace our human connections with ones online?
Looking deeper at the reasoning behind my online habits, I feel as if I need to "make up" for the loss of connections I am making in real life. Because I can't hangout with my friends, I send them memes on Instagram. Because I can't talk to them in person, I snapchat them. Because I can't work and be creative, I scroll on tiktok watching "creators" and "influencers".
However, is this really replacing real life connections? Or is it merely a distraction that I am using to hide until real life resumes...
The month of May is called Mental Health Awareness month. During this month I am pledging to work harder to find safe ways to socialize not through social media platforms. I miss real life connections and while it's easy to feel as if I am "connecting" with my friends online, I know it's not real.
Here are some ideas I have that you can do as well:
I am going to start going on more distant walks with friends so we can chat, get exercise and remain Covid safe all at once.
I am going to start calling my friends instead of sending them texts or memes when I feel lonely.
I am going to work on reaching out when I am down instead of distracting my feelings by going on social media platforms.
I am going to organize more online game nights and Netflix Party events for my friends so we can have something to look forward to.
It's hard to stay connected, hopeful, optimistic and enthusatis right now. Its valid to feel burnt out and mentally exhausted. Having deeper connections with our friends and family and really building up a strong support system is the key to getting through (mentally and physically!) this pandemic.