Hopefully Reopening Society Means We See Less Crap Corona Content In Our Feeds
Here’s what happens when we’re isolated from our regular lives with nothing but the Internet to entertain us: WE LOSE OUR MINDS.
It’s fine. We’re fine. It makes sense that we’re feeling a little anxious, maybe even a little frightened. All these feelings are to be expected during unprecedented times. But that leaves us vulnerable -- and oh boy, doesn’t the Internet know it!
Yes, we’re all spending more time online than ever before, many of us feverishly searching for information that can help us make meaning of this deeply unsettling situation. Things we would have dismissed as ridiculous before COVID-19 now take on eerie significance. Advertising that may not have struck a chord with us before lockdown now manages to find our weak spots.
Of course, there have been wonderful things that people have shared online, like father and daughter dance videos, and sales on loungewear. But for everyone’s sanity -- and given that Australian society is starting to open up -- here are five things you should stop sharing on socials during COVID-19...
1. Anything that focuses on weight gain and the Quarantine 15
Have you noticed a surge in advertising that wants to help you “stay healthy during lockdown”? It’s very sweet, how these companies just have our welfare in mind. Except that we all know the real message is “DON’T GET FAT". And then they’re going to use that ‘faux concern’ to sell us their incredible solution.
We’re frightened, we’re lonely, some of us have lost our jobs or been separated from our support network. The least important aspect of this whole thing is whether we gain the Quarantine 15.
Oh, and just remember that for the people who struggle with eating disorders, those memes about “fattening the curve” aren’t only not funny, they’re potentially dangerous.
2. Misinformation and conspiracy theories
There are lots of unknowns -- even the people we count on to know things don’t completely know them. Such is the nature of a pandemic involving a novel (new) virus. We’re learning as we go.
Until we do have more definitive answers, it’s human nature to want to fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, these gaps are just big enough for conspiracy theorists to wiggle into. And in our already anxious and vulnerable state, we’re prime targets to consume information that relies on murky details and fear to proliferate.
Please don’t spread misinformation! Or at the very least, fact-check the crap out of everything before you share. The powers that be might not be giving us the whole story, but I can guarantee we’re not going to learn “the real truth” from the random Trump fan with a YouTube account.
3. 'Learn a new skill'
Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow thinks we should learn a new language or write a novel. It’s not that those are bad ideas. It’s just that most of us are flat out dealing with home-schooling our kids or trying to figure out JobKeeper. Yes, I’ve always wanted to become a guitar virtuoso but I’m not sure it’s possible since Grade 2 maths has got me completely stumped.
4. Your child's Harvard-level home-school set up
You made flashcards. You set up a kid-sized desk with a plant for aesthetics and a world globe for culture. You had a bloody whiteboard delivered. Don’t get me wrong. I admire you SO MUCH. You’re everything I thought about being for about five minutes until I realised even a massive whiteboard can’t help me makes sense of Grade 2 maths.
I get it, you're a better mum than me. So go ahead and share away. You’ve made a huge effort and you deserve some likes for your hard work. All I ask is that you spare a thought for fellow mum teachers who’re about to be fired for day drinking.
5. Pseudo-science virus cures
It would be GREAT if drinking warm water every 15 minutes could prevent us from catching the virus. Sure, bathroom trips would be constant, but trips to ICU: zero!
I know we all mean well, but let’s apply some critical thinking to everything we read online, and when in doubt, trust a health expert with years of experience in immunology over Karen from Facebook. Sorry, Karen. You seem nice enough. But I just don't think celery juice has those kinds of powers.
Featured Image: Getty