More than at any time in the recent past, now is the time to think about ensuring a healthy balance with technology. Fear is continuing to grow during the spread with the infectiousness of Covid-19 and we’re all facing a long period of social distancing. The two constants facing us are more screen time and Covid-19, we’re going to be spending a lot more time on them. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for how to survive the next few months.
As we become separated from our friends and family it can be easy to feel isolated. Many of us won’t be able to visit our older relatives and friends for quite a while. But social distancing and self-isolation don’t have to be the end of social contact! Teach your older relatives how to use video chatting on their devices and set up joint meal times so that you can eat together, apart. You can even watch TV together on Netflix Party.
Do use WhatsApp for group communication
Across the country, community groups are using WhatsApp as a way to mobilise neighbourhood groups and identify those who need help, and those can provide it. Not everyone has a friend or relative nearby who can walk the dog or pick up the shopping, but many of us are healthy and infection-free and at home with nothing to do – so we can fill the gaps. Perhaps we can use this time to build stronger communities? Wouldn’t that be a positive outcome from this crisis?
Whether through continuing to work or by picking up an interest – such as learning a new language on Duolingo – we can all get something positive out of this time. It can seem like we are living in a dystopian world, and if we’re not essential workers we might feel we can’t do anything positive. But by keeping the economy moving and ourselves busy at home we’re helping in the best way we can.
Don’t spread #FakeNews
There are unfortunately plenty of people exploiting fear at the moment by touting fake ideas and products. This is even more dangerous because we’re dealing with a pandemic, not a regional flu outbreak. Don’t follow advice that doesn’t come from reputable sources, and don’t spread it any further.
Don’t spend hours on screens
It would be easy just to watch all the TV on Netflix or spend hours on Insta’s ‘Explore’ page. But by the end of any dive down the Internet rabbit-hole you won’t be feeling better, just worn out with sore eyes. Limit mindless passive screen use so that you can pace yourself. You have enough time to re-watch all of Game of Thrones, twice, don’t worry.
Don’t increase your anxiety
If all of your social media and screen time is geared towards news updates on Covid-19 you’ll never have any respite. Try to follow some uplifting, positive accounts, like ours, and mute or unfollow endless bad news if it’s stressing you out. Keep an eye on your mood and keep yourself calm.
Don’t give in to the tiny tyrant in your pocket
The most important message is that you are in control. You decide when to rest, play and work now all the usual boundaries are removed. Think carefully about how to use and plan your time and don’t let your smartphone control how you spend time social distancing.
Stay safe, we’re all in this together and we’re going to be posting more positive and practical content to help over the next few weeks.