Participating in virtual meetings is one way of staying engaged
There are infinite platforms that exist to bring people together through video chat. Set up calls with your loved ones and party together without having to leave your bed.
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According to a 2011 study, relationships improve our health behaviorally, psychosocially, and physiologically. Social isolation, the study reminds us, has been used as wartime persecution to break down otherwise stable minds. While relationships surely cannot cure every ailment, they can influence us to maintain healthy habits, give us a sense of life purpose, and reassure us that we are valued members of society even in the darkest of times. The study also proves that mortality rates of those with health challenges are two times higher if socially isolated than those who are grounded in a community base. Fostering healthy relationships, especially in a time of social isolation, is a significant part of caring for mental health. There has been a surge in video communication platforms during quarantine. As of April 17, 2020, the top three platforms were Netflix Party, House Party, and Zoom. While Zoom is a video conferencing platform that also allows you to share your screen, the rise of Netflix Party and House Party are particularly interesting. These platforms are designed to allow users to stream movies or tv shows simultaneously and with the same quality while chatting or play games together, respectively. This means that even when people are interested in stimulating their minds or engaging in an activity that is possible alone, they still choose to do so with their community. According to PCMag, these platforms are not only allowing communities to continue to grow but are also making way for a rise of online dating.  According to the New York Times, quarantine-safe socializing is the new artform. In an effort to quell the quarantine woes and to support D.J.s and music producers out of work, talent agency founder Christine McCharen-Tran organized a “remote rave.” Oddly, socializing seems to be more accessible now – 5,000 people from around the globe tuned in to the live-streamed event of no more than ten music artists in a Brooklyn warehouse. Not only did McCharen-Tran create opportunity for artists and music-lovers to find community again, but she also transformed a normally public event into an intimate experience. One can tune into a live-stream with thousands from the comfort of home.
Increased virtual connection can actually drain your energy faster than in-person connection. There is a consistent 1.2 second delay on video platforms like Zoom. According to Gianpiero Petriglieri, “our minds are together when our bodies feel we’re not.” Our brains can detect this discord and although we might not be conscious of it, we likely begin to consider our conversant is not truly paying attention to what we are saying. Video conferencing is exhausting because it actually takes more energy to understand social cues like tone of voice and facial expressions when our bodies are apart. Insider explains that quarantine has made way for overestimating our own energy levels – many have taken the extra time to make goals for new projects and to reconnect with old acquaintances. There is also social pressure to make this quarantine experience into a bright one and to fill one’s day with just as much fatigue as there was before. Social media is a significant contributor to this stressor with a myriad of screenshots from virtual meetings and reminders to keep up social contact even though it is challenging. Yet, the pressure to socialize through platforms that aren’t as fulfilling as in-person contact anyway is unhealthy and leads to overstimulation. A new way of life calls for new boundaries.
Rejecting the premises