Wow oh wow, life has certainly changed over the past few weeks. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to practice social distancing safely at home have had some time to settle into doing the majority of things virtually. Distance learning has been quite the adventure for students and their parents. I’m seeing all clients virtually now, and I see my friends and family through a screen as well. Not too long ago, I actually wrote a blog post about how technology gets in the way of human connection sometimes. Now I’m back to tell you about how it’s going to be our saving grace during these unprecedented times.
We are hardwired for connection, and we were never meant to be isolated from one another in the way that we are being asked to do now. This presents a unique opportunity for us to utilize the technological advances that modern society has to offer. I’ve joked with clients about how well Zoom stock must be doing, but all joking aside, platforms like Zoom and FaceTime (among many others!) have been awesome for keeping in touch with the outside world. Having face-to-face time, even through a screen, with friends and family is important for the brain to register that we’ve had a social interaction. We are social creatures, and we need to stay connected to survive.
Group chats that used to flood our notifications with useless chatter can be elevated to virtual hangouts. Weekly family meals convert easily into virtual potlucks. Reunions reserved for weddings and other major life events are now happening virtually. One resounding message I keep hearing is, “We should have done these online hangouts sooner! We should keep doing them even after quarantine is over!” Long distance friendships are revitalized in a wonderfully unexpected way. Instead of having to pack a suitcase and fly across the country for a few days to see an old friend, you just have to give an hour of your day to click a few buttons and catch up virtually.
These days, the global pandemic we’re fighting as a species seems to overwhelm the news, conversations, and our minds. A silver lining to this is that we’re able to utilize virtual resources for so many different purposes, particularly for finding extra support for the added stress. Online therapy has certainly opened doors to provide services even when it’s not safe to be together in person. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for everybody to practice social distancing due to essential jobs and tasks, but those of us who can stay home should try to find creative ways to connect. Maybe invest in some blue light blocking glasses if you can while you’re at it!
An Thai, MS, MFT Intern, provides couple, family, and individual therapy in our Sterling, VA office. Call or email today to set up your first appointment or a complimentary telephone consultation with An.