The term ‘social life’ is not very relevant to the world right now. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay inside of their homes, with no physical contact with others. Governments across the world have imposed state-wide and nation-wide lockdowns. Thus, schools, offices, colleges, clubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes have all been closed down.
A much-discussed consequence of this lockdown is boredom. Now that people aren’t able to go to their office or institution, they have a lot of time to pass. But given that they can’t step outside their homes, they don’t have things to do to pass their time.
However, what people aren’t talking about enough, something that could be an even more serious consequence, is loneliness.
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People are unable to leave their houses, and that means that they are unable to meet their loved ones. For weeks on end, people cannot hug their friends or kiss their significant other. This might seem just sad on face value, but it is leading to people feeling a lot lonelier.
Loneliness is a far more serious problem than it sounds. It is considered to be a significant threat to physical and mental health. Moreover, feelings of loneliness activate brain regions associated with distress and overthinking.
However, there are ways to cope up with this loneliness.
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The most targeted and direct response to tackle loneliness is fighting the thoughts it leads to. If your loneliness is telling you that people don’t want to hear from you, challenge that thought. Text your friends, and see how they respond.
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Another solution is something that we already use a lot, and are probably using 24×7 because of coronavirus lockdowns – social media. To stay in touch with their friends, many people are using messaging platforms such as Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger. Moreover, people are even using video-based apps like TikTok to pass their time and feel less lonely.
A study has proved that people who interacted with each other’s video call images via augmented reality report a higher sense of social presence.
Moreover, group-activities can help regain that sense of spending time with each other. These include activities such as quizzes (Psych), or watching movies together (NetflixParty).