The End of the World As We Know It…

2020 has been a fuckin nightmare.

If you’re lucky, you’re able to work from home and still get paid. If you’re less lucky, you still have a job, but have to put your health at risk because of the pandemic. And when you’re not working, where do you turn? Your phone.

Except, our screens are no longer used primarily for communication. In this time of COVID and civil unrest, our devices have been used for Zoom meetings, to check in with friends/family, as our tool to research and share news stories, AND as our entertainment.

Social media outlets have always been used as sounding boards for various topics, but now they are being used more and more to out racists and share videos of harrowing encounters with police. There is a lot of frustration and pain being felt right now, and as much as I identify with the posts I’ve seen from friends and the folks I follow,  the avalanche of information sometimes becomes a bit overwhelming. I used to get on Instagram to take a break from the news stories posted and re-posted all over Facebook, but lately, posts of goofy viral challenges have been replaced with pictures of protests and thought pieces on why it’s challenging being a black person in America.

I’m not complaining, trust. I have shared on both platforms and will continue to do so. I guess I’m just pointing out that doing a social media cleanse seems so much more daunting when you’re stuck in the house 24/7 for fear of catching/spreading a potentially fatal respiratory virus.

It’s stressful to not be able to do a fraction of what you were able to do just a few months ago. There are no birthday parties to attend, no vacations to take, no boozy brunches that linger late into the afternoon. Being afraid to hug your parents FUCKING SUCKS. I’m starting to forget what date night feels like. I miss chasing my godchildren around the park, grabbing a drink at a rooftop bar, and taking a walk to the local bagel shop before tackling work e-mails. Being car-less is ESPECIALLY wack right now, as you can imagine. I can’t remember ever feeling this trapped. Add to that the fact that mistrust in 12 is at an all-time high, and it’s enough to make you want to take up drinking as a nightly hobby.

So I take solace in the little things, because being grateful for what I have keeps me from screaming at the sky. I take walks in the courtyard, I blast music while teleworking, I discuss my favorite TV shows with my girlfriends via Marco Polo, and I indulge in delivery twice a week.

We will get through this. And my hope is that we’ll be stronger, smarter, and more empathetic on the other side.

The way of the word

If you know me, you know that I’m kinda awkward. I’m not one of those people that can walk up to others and start an intriguing  conversation on the spot. I have a tendency to overthink everything from my outfits to my mother’s text messages.

That being said, social media has definitely made it easier for me  to express myself and connect with others. Even if I change my mind about something I’ve said, I can edit it or delete it. Woohoo!

As much as I appreciate the conveniences of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, I definitely see their weaknesses. Scrolling through one another’s feeds makes us feel like we are active participants in our friends’ lives. We can see photos from their adventures, laugh at their jokes, and express sympathy when they deliver sad news. But it’s not the same as hanging out with them. Social media outlets create an illusion of closeness that we have become comfortable with. No need to meet to catch up when you can get caught up on Facebook, right?

Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with it all, so I take periodic breaks from my screens. My favorite way to catch up with close friends is at a rooftop bar on a warm night over cocktails, so that’s been my go-to as of late. In this fast-paced world of swiping right and clicking “like,” it’s important to dedicate time to our relationships, minus the media.

 

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