Social Distancing Doesn’t Have To Mean Antisocial

social distancing, communicating, humor, Modern PhilosopherAs much as I embrace all the perks of the Introvert Lifestyle, Modern Philosophers, I know it is not for everyone.  This time of extended social distancing brought about by the spread of the Coronavirus must be difficult for those of you not used to being quirky loners.

And if I’m being completely honest, his whole Nation in Exile vibe is starting to get to me.  Sure, I like having the road all to myself when I go for a run, but the other night when I lost Cassie, I really could have used a hug and some time with friends.

So this morning, before I left for my run, I posted something on Facebook.  I asked how everyone was doing, and offered to chat with anyone on Messenger who just wanted to chat, connect, and feel social.

Wasn’t I delighted when my phone immediately began to chime with new messages!

At one point, I was chatting with friends from Ireland, Florida, and California.  It was cool to connect with them, and to learn how that part of the world is handling the outbreak.  We were talking about baseball, writing, and how hard it is to find bread.

My phone has continued to inform me of new conversations all day, and I’d really like to keep this going.  I understand the need for us to practice social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we all have to become antisocial.

social distancing, communicating, humor, Modern PhilosopherIn fact, I would argue we need to do the exact opposite.

Is prosocial even a word?  If not, I’m making it one.  I’m a writer and we have the authority to create new words.  Just ask Shakespeare.

This is a situation that screams for us to be overtly social, but in a responsible way.

In the Age of Social Media (capitalizing it makes it sound even more important!), it is easy to reach out to others and maintain that six feet safety perimeter.  Hell, you can be social without ever leaving your couch or bed.

Remember when you had to dress up, worry about your make up, and fix your hair before you could socialize with your friends?  Then arrange for a ride, make sure you had enough cash for the night, and pick up that gift because only weirdos show up empty handed?

That nonsense is not required in today’s prosocial world.  I’m siting on my couch in raggedy sweats, an old fleece, and contemplating cutting my own hair because it’s out of control and I don’t think my barber can do her job from six feet away.

I’m sorry I didn’t put on my Sunday best to have this chat with you, Modern Philosophers, but the focus here should be on the fact that I’m reaching out to talk to you, not on how ridiculous I look.

Or the fact that I don’t have a gift for you, other than my words and attention.

Now is the time to check on friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and that annoying guy who still owes you twenty bucks.  Make sure they know someone is out there thinking about them and wishing them well.  See if you can make a grocery run for elderly neighbors.  Ask if that sick friend is feeling better.

social distancing, communicating, humor, Modern PhilosopherWe might be stuck in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t venture onto the internet to hang out, spread a little sunshine, and chase off cabin fever.

If you’re lonely, bored, or plotting to cut your own hair, I’m definitely available to talk.  Reach out to me on Messenger or in the comments section of this post.  Let’s be prosocial.  Deep Thoughts are much more powerful when shared with others.

Let’s keep the virus outside, but open our virtual doors to anyone who needs a little social time and a reminder of how much better the world is with chatter and laughter in it…

Do you want to chat?  Let me know!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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8 Responses to Social Distancing Doesn’t Have To Mean Antisocial

  1. Lisa Orchard says:

    I love this post! It is so true, we still need to connect. I’m glad you’re reaching out to everyone. I will keep in touch with you via Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for the upbeat post!

  2. Bryntin says:

    Ah… because I don’t do Facebook I tried your Twitter widget but it didn’t work for me – maybe a browser thing . But (Great Scott!) I think I’ve found you on a search anyway – the Doc is a fairly recognisable chap!
    I just said to my son on a message chat this morning that it’s a good job this didn’t happen 20 years ago when there weren’t all these ways of the world still staying in touch easily. Mind you, he’s 14 so knows of no other way!

  3. beth says:

    i’m so glad to read this from you, and happy that you are happy!

  4. It sure looks cold in your neck of the woods. You are so bundled up in that photo, you look safe enough to be hugged.

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