Cue February 2021, and nearly a year on since this global pandemic hit the UK; forcing us to reside in our homes, meeting only with our household or support bubbles and bringing challenge after challenge as we all adapt to this new day to day.
Emerging from the first lockdown, was a new found appreciation for technology, in particular the ability to video call on mass to family and friends all over the place. The likes of Zoom and Google Hangout came into their own, providing a space for individuals to safely meet, play virtual games and gain comfort from seeing the faces of the ones they love. For many, this has been the only form of communication for a year (or longer!).
The benefits of this has meant that it seems more acceptable and easier to arrange a call to check in with each other on a weekly or even daily basis. We’re all longing for a connection with someone, for that element of normality and a call is sometimes enough to make us feel loved and thought of.
We should not forget at this point either, that there is a generation, as well as others with no access to such technology and may only have the ability to make a normal phone call as opposed to a video one- for these people, this may be the only form of contact and as such becomes a crucial lifeline in their sense of wellbeing.
However, while it has been a saving grace to be able to pick up the phone to our nearest and dearest, has it also increased this expectation that we should be on the end of our phones 24/7 and if we’re not, what message does this send?
We are of course living in a time where we may choose to hold multiple online profiles, across different platforms, enabling pretty much anyone, anywhere to get in touch. Therefore, it’s harder to wrap yourself with anonymity as such platforms can expose your activity and of course if your seen ‘online’ in one place but not replying to a message elsewhere, it can throw up all sorts of questions from those ‘expecting a reply’ including feelings of being ignored and the like.
The most important thing to remember is that element of self- care. Easier said then done – I get it. But it is okay to take a step back from our phones and technology for a few hours or even a day. I know it’s the usual ‘but what if there’s an emergency?’. In most day to days, this is a rare occurrence and if it was to happen, I’m sure there are other ways of being contacted – you’re not disappearing off the radar entirely!