Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April 2021 • Circulation 5000

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Virtual Reality

I spend more time than ever online. Prior to the pandemic I spent quite a lot of time in front of a screen also, mostly scrolling through my social media feeds. Now, I participate in my meetings, social events, and entertainment via a variety of online platforms, most often Zoom.

I am truly thankful that I live in a time when I can live my life as normally as possible, because of technology. I am equally thankful for being privileged enough to have regular access to the Internet and devices that keep me connected to it. Finally, my personality type is such that I enjoy time spent on my own. The need to socially isolate doesn’t cramp my style or affect my mental health in a bad way.

Yet for many, the exact opposite is true. As the pandemic rages on, they feel more and more isolated and crave companionship other than talking heads on a screen.And, quite frankly, sitting in my room scrolling, posting, liking, livestreaming, and doing whatever other verbs didn’t exist prior to the digital age (or that now have different meanings) is getting old. I realize how much I took for granted doing simple things like sitting for hours in a coffee shop writing, then meeting friends for dinner and going to a concert.

We all have to do our best in keeping ourselves and each other safe. For some, myself included, this means staying home as much as possible. Yet connecting with others is necessary for mental health. Online togetherness is better than nothing. Until we come out on the other side of our current situation, it’s virtual hugs and video chats.

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