Stay engaged in real life amid virtual world

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

By following social-distancing guidelines, students stuck indoors have also increased the amount of time spent on screen and away from others. Instead of focusing on what can be done online, students should refocus their time into healthy habits outside of their computer screens.

Distancing can lead to loneliness, a health threat on its own that can be damaging to those who don’t receive enough social interaction. While we want to follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, it should not mean cutting off human contact.

Students should keep in contact with their friends who may currently be in another state. In that respect social media and technology are a great tool for keeping up social ties outside of quarantine. However, a study has shown, that virtual interactions only engage two of the five senses.

While using technology to communicate is able to communicate the minimum needs of social interaction, it fails to fulfill our innate need to connect with each other over a sustained period of time. Thus, we should maintain face-to-face social interactions either people we live with or people that we meet with while maintaining the ‘six feet apart’ guidelines.

Those in quarantine with other people should use this time to take full advantage of the time they are able to have with the people around them and find new ways to entertain themselves that they wouldn’t normally.

Instead of replacing in-person interactions with online streaming or texting, we should intentionally set aside time to be spent outdoors on walks or with people face-to-face so that we don’t lose touch with the interactions we are losing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With many buildings closed for the time being, there is substantially less space for the Baylor community to come together. For many working full-time jobs, the move to online has curbed most of their social interactions and leaving them alone indoors.

While obligations such as work and school have made the switch to online for the safety of those involved, it is not an excuse for a person to eliminate all social interactions and time spent outdoors from their lives.

If anything, it is more important for students to make time for these activities because of the limitations currently in place. For students and all other people to safely reintegrate to normal life after the pandemic curbs in outbreaks, we need to maintain a healthy social life to avoid becoming stuck in an online-only world.