It is the year 2020 and the entire world is alone. Some people are embracing the solace, self identifying as introverts, or introverted extroverts, or announcing to their thoughtfully procured group of 500 or so friend’s list that they in fact hate everyone. Except you, of course. Perhaps they too are struggling. Maybe they find it difficult to admit that they have a hard time connecting. The most important thing to remember about social media is that everyone on it is on an endless quest to shape your opinion of them, even if they won’t admit it.
Some people are struggling with their lack of socialization. They are used to a big world of exploring and laughing and sharing their joys with people around them. Their happiness is amplified by sharing it with others. Or perhaps they need validation of flesh and blood humans around them to feel worthy. Maybe some of the people in this group are even slightly too dependent on the reactions of others. In any case, these people are definitely struggling. Trying to fill their void with incessant posts about the monotony of their day, down to the most trivial of all choices. So what’s for dinner, folks?
Within these two very basic categories of homebodies and social butterflies, there are endless subcategories and even more obstacles that complicate life further. There are marriages that were already on the rocks, now confined to four walls and forced confrontation. There are single parents who are struggling to provide for their children while also caring for them, stay at home moms who suddenly find themselves without an outlet. There are singles who so desperately want to be confined to those four walls with one person who will love them back, and they are starting to wonder if they will be alone forever. The home in which we are living has become our entire world. And in the darkest corners live helpless children who have been cut off from the adults who might be able to help them. Victims whose abusers have been granted unlimited access.
Change is never easy, not even for the most stable and level headed individuals. But right now, the whole world is changing in a big way, and most people are very uncomfortable. History has seen this before. We know that resistance is unavoidable, and we also know that this resistance will fall on a spectrum. From burning flags to crying in the shower to welcoming this change with fearless optimism, we will all react in one way or another to this shift in homeostasis.
Whether you are using this time to plant a garden, or just coping well enough to get through the day, it is a decent time to introspectively identify our reactions and ask why we are reacting this way. Do you appreciate the humans around you? And if you don’t miss them, then why not? Do you miss those interactions desperately? And if so, then why? What reactions did the previous world spark in you and how will you change as you transition in to the new one that is waiting on the other side? What people have you let in before whose absences have provided relief, and will you let them back in or allow yourself to let go? If we can get anything out of this difficult period, we should. So dig deep and ask questions, and maybe those questions will be a habit that you carry with you for the rest of your life.