This is a hard time, no matter who you are or what you do.
When the world spins and swirls, we as human beings get dragged in the wake.
I feel you. I am you. And I’ve been getting dragged, too.
Up one moment, down the next, like a human stock market.
And social distancing is difficult. I’m a people person and my love language is touch. I thrive on human interaction. But I also understand the need to “flatten the curve” and buy time for our health care system and our fellow human beings.
So, as we move through this crisis and into this brave new world of social distancing, let’s talk about how we’re going to get through. Specifically, I think it’s important that we remember this:
Social distancing does not have to be emotional distancing.
You can physically be isolated from most other people but you can psychologically stay with them. Remember, we have these wonderful machines that you’re reading this on.
Stay present, stay connected, and show you care. Your loved ones (and the world) probably need you now so don’t disappear into a vortex of Netflix and nachos. (Although that does sound pretty good for a night. Or two.)
I know we’ve all complained (a lot) about social media and we all have seen the negative effects it can have on our society and on us, personally.
But we know that social media can be wonderful, too. It can be a place of caring and community and plain old love. I have seen this time and again and I (fairly often) live in this place of wonder on my own Facebook and Instagram pages.
Like tofu, social media has the flavor of what we put into it.
So I challenge you right now to be part of the answer to these times instead of part of the problem on social media. Here’s what we could do together:
Talk, inform, and care for each other in the social square. What does that look like?
Well, it’s different for everyone … but for me it looks like this:
- Before you post, THINK.
- Is this truthful?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it kind?
- Is this truthful?
- Post only informative, fact-based articles. Don’t post propaganda and don’t tolerate it in your feed.
- Snooze, unfollow, or delete poisonous people from your daily intake. Don’t eat garbage and don’t put it in your head. Get rid of the harmful stuff. Keep what’s healthy, even if that means snoozing Uncle Walter and his Fox News diatribes for a while. Ranting Aunt Betty probably needs a nap, too.
- Use humor from time to time. Break the strain of seriousness when you need to. It’s okay to laugh, even when you’re scared. Just try to be careful about laughing at people instead of laughing with them. And always be ready to laugh at yourself.
- Hit the delete keys often. Type your comment … and erase it. When I’m unsure about a comment, I ask myself if my late mom would be proud of me for saying that. If I can see Mom giving me “the look” with that one raised eyebrow, I hit the delete button. Unkind words hurt double in times like these.
- Use your social networks to help if you can. I’ve been hearing that older people might look for help on NextDoor. I imagine similar things are happening on Facebook. Look around. See if someone needs you.
And, for those of you lucky enough to be working from home right now, be grateful. For those of you who have to move about in your communities, stay safe and healthy.
May the Universe bless and keep us all.