Highlight Reels and Pandemics

For the past 5 months in the United States (and longer in other places around the world), COVID-19 has brought the world to it’s knees. It’s forced many of us into completely new habits and has elevated us of our awareness of unique things. Between sanitizing more surfaces than I ever have and saying “I think you’re mic is muted” a few hundred times on conference calls, here are a few reflections.

Social media stopped being a highlight reel for a small bit. It made me reflect more on my love hate relationship with it. More often than not unfortunately, my love for it has me absorbed into it. WhatsApp to Instagram and back to reading what Aunty posted about the benefits of ichar on COVID symptoms (not a real thing…). An interesting thing happened though – no one could post fancy dinners and cute destinations because everyone was locked into the same situation. And aside from TikTok spewing a slew of random dance challenges, it was as if we all suddenly couldn’t add to our wish lists anymore. The thing about social media is that after you spend a few minutes on it under normal circumstances, you have a few minutes worth more of desires that you didn’t have before. Now suddenly you want to have that ice-cream cone shaped pizza roll (real thing in New Jersey) and you want your next destination to be somewhere tropic.

But when COVID hit, there wasn’t much to post about. Racial injustices climbed to the top of everyone’s pages and social media became a platform to raise awareness for these things. It was really amazing. The guy who usually posts selfies with his organic Angus beef burger with sweet potato fries was posting a Blackout Tuesday post. Families spoke more and unique opportunities to connect were sought. Joint workouts via zoom, cousin calls, and yes – some TikTok dances.

While this all sounds great, we shouldn’t minimize what the pandemic caused. This was as much an emotional pandemic for some than it was a physical one. Certain persona’s aren’t meant to be cooped up in their own confined space. There were many jobs lost and many emotional states broken. Many sought solace in reconnecting with their family and friends which in itself was a beautiful thing. It was hard. It still is. And it’s scary – not just because of the pandemic itself but from the huge gap between people who care about being cautious and those who don’t.

The world slowly is opening back up. And while this post is all over the place, I think what I want to say is that when our intake from social media generally decreased because of the pandemic, we were able to cope with the reality of how hard this pandemic was. And if something is that good, we shouldn’t give it up. If you allow Social Media to just be the hot sauce in your life, then I think it’s a recipe for happiness. If you overload the hot sauce, it can burn. Overloading on social media is so easy to do. But what results is this inorganic list of wishes and desires that aren’t from within. And that matters because our emotional state more often than not goes hand in hand with our ability to work towards our internal list of wishes and desires. As our intake in general increases, it pushes aside our organic goals and sense of wonder for desires we didn’t even want 2 minutes before scrolling through  it.

Work hard, take care of your heart and take care of your intake. Boredom > Anxiety

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