The ongoing pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has taken a toll on our lives. Our social bubbles have burst and shrunk. I have been in this lockdown since late March and my interactions with the outside world has also been curtailed to fundamentally three things – morning jogs, essential food and an occasional drive around the block.
Work has also shifted dramatically to app based calls. Less of travel and more objective oriented conversations. Results may vary. However, this long-drawn situation has resulted in telling unique stories minus the meet and greets. A repurpose led by technology.
Artist Laurie Anderson once said, “Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories.”
In 2020, this rings as a true. The one thing that did not fail us yet is the internet connection…yet. Given the unpredictability of this year, there are no guarantees on how long what will last. Anyway, in the past 3 months, I followed the following to ensure maintain a healthy social balance:
- Stay connected: Yes, there is a deluge of app based call invites. This is in addition to the ones you have with your friends, a few professional ones as well as some joint meetings with members of family. However, what I did in addition to all these was picked up on the phone on some people whom I lost touch. Traveled down memory lanes as well while we were younger. Some of these calls are real fun as well. And in some cases, we can find a solution to a communications problem in a one-hour call.
- Learn at your own pace: Always thought you wanted to study further? The time is just ripe for learning. I got to catch up on reading during lockdown and was able to finish a couple of books which I was unable to earlier. Given coronavirus has forced the hand on digitisation, I thought it is important to update oneself on some of the trends which might be useful soon.
I also stumbled upon some modules which were fun as well. These range from ‘understanding machine learning’ to ‘learning how to jump rope’ (the latter I am struggling with!). People have also taken to stock market investing during the lockdown, as the markets seem to remain buoyant despite recessionary trends. Am no expert in ‘markets’ though.
- Play: One obvious pitfall of ‘Working from Home’ and digital connect has meant that we spend more time in front of our gadgets. This has meant we spend more time in front of laptops, tablets and mobiles. A good opportunity, in case you are with your family is traditional games. As a father of 7-year-old, we as a family have introduced our son to carrom, ludo, chess, cards and Jenga. My wife is the resident champion in most of these games.
We are all going through testing times. For an introvert, I hardly used to socialise and had limited interactions. What I shared is not something new, however, always felt we need to declutter and simplify our lives. Nature has forced its hand, we all have to comply and live through this. We are all sensitive towards the wellbeing of our loved ones as well as ourselves. As online citizens in the digital world, what is required is perhaps a virtual hug.
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