Social Media: How to Be Present During a Pandemic

During this time of imposed ‘social distancing’ I think it is important that we realize that we are, in fact, social beings.  We were created in order to have and feel a sense of community, love and physical contact.  It is so bizarre that now when I am watching movies’ I have become acutely aware of the closeness of the actors and I long to get back to it in our everyday lives.  It is okay to long for physical contact. 

I am grateful, daily, for the internet and technology which allows me to remain connected to my kids, parents, sisters and friends.  I had never heard of “Zoom” until a few weeks ago and continue to marvel at how wonderful it is as I have been able to unite with people through meetings, cocktail hours and even get some great workouts in.  

Facebook came onto the scene when my girls were teenagers and it was a constant battle.  Most of us have struggled with the notion that these platforms are used to portray ‘the perfect life’.  And while we, as adults, can compartmentalize this notion I had to continually remind my girls to remember that no one posts pics of themselves sitting home on a Friday night eating ice cream out of the tub!  Others have struggles also!  And even as a rational adult, we also can sometimes get mired down in that sinking feeling that everyone else is living the perfect life while we are stuck in our own lives.

Because marketing is an essential part of CK, I have now joined the masses on IG and FB.  I find myself struggling to procure ‘appropriate’ content that feels authentic and not staged.  And when I do post a vulnerable photo or video, I am often concerned that perhaps, I am too raw.  Do I really want to let people know my struggles, fears, hopes?  

I was skimming through the NYT Daily Brief a couple of days ago and read something very relevant regarding the goodness in social media.  For myself, I have found that sometimes when I just ‘scroll’ through IG or FB I become a little melancholy maybe even a tich depressed and while I have noticed this, I have not been able to pinpoint why.  This small excerpt from the NYT has helped explain it to me.  Take note of how often you are actually interacting v. scrolling and trolling.  I have definitely found that the more I comment, the more connected I feel and have even used it as a platform to make new friends.  Bizarre, I know but definitely worth it for me.  Hope you enjoy! 

 

Originally posted on The New York Times daily briefing 4/2/20

A kind internet?

We just introduced On Tech, a newsletter about how technology is reshaping our world. Shira Ovide, its host, chatted with The Times’s tech columnist Kevin Roose about his recent article on kindness on the internet. Sign up for the newsletter, and read the first one.

So the internet is good now? Did you forget about everything you’veever written?

Kevin: It’s not so much that the internet is “good” now — these tools haven’t changed, after all — but I do think we’ve seen people using the internet in a more pro-social way, which is great. I hope it lasts.

What can all of us do to keep this pleasant?

Kevin: I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I think the answer is we need to contribute more. In normal times, we — and I include myself — are much more passive about using the internet. There’s some research that shows we’re happier when we use social media actively rather than passively scrolling.

The more good people use social media, the less the bad people are able to commandeer the megaphone. Now, it’s not only the opportunists who are getting amplified — it’s also doctorsnurses, epidemiologists and people organizing face mask drives.

But doctors won’t keep posting forever. And does the world really need photos of my boring oatmeal?

Kevin: Yes, be boring! Living through a pandemic is terrifying. We should all be legally required to post photos of our boring breakfasts. It’s what people used to knock Instagram for — “Oh, it’s just people posting their avocado toast.” But honestly, that sounds amazing right now — an all-avocado-toast social network!

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