On the Subject of Loneliness and Coping via the Internet

The daily updates on the coronavirus pandemic deliver numbers on cases, recoveries, and losses. The indirect losses are huge as the economy crumbles due to the massive disruption to make way for social distancing. The unemployment rate has gone higher, the private sector is minimizing costs, and renters are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

Nobody can deny the effects of the pandemic on healthcare and the economy, but what lives in the shadows are the repercussions of isolation. One could feel lonely as they live another waking day, unable to hang out with friends, co-workers, or loved ones. However, it is necessary to note that loneliness is multi-faceted and comes from a wide range of emotions, such as anger, sadness, grief, hope, etc.

For some people, going to bars, shopping, getting afternoon coffee, and not staying at home, in general, keep their sanity intact. Research has shown that being surrounded by friends can reduce stress because of the increase in the “love hormone,” Oxytocin. This could explain why you feel so much better when you’re with other people.

Despite being six feet away or more, connecting with other people is still possible—especially with the presence of the internet.

Make good use of the internet

This lifetime might be faced with a pandemic, but it is also blessed with the presence of the internet. One of the great advantages of the internet is that it makes communication so much easier; you can connect with people on the other side of the globe in just a few clicks or taps. Here are ways to bond via the internet amid social distancing:

  • Video calls

Some couples are forced to go through what seems like a long-distance relationship, so seeing each other—although without touch—can still make you feel “a surge of energy, as your desire is being fulfilled.” This is due to the dopamine boost you get when you see the love of your life. Video calls are also great for receiving updates about the other person. Maybe they want to show you their new puppy and its new tricks from dog training. Maybe they have managed to build or revamp something in their home because of boredom.

  • Online games

Consider playing not just video games but also card and guessing games online. Skribbl.io is a multiplayer guessing game where you and your friends can take turns drawing an interpretation of a word while the rest of the group figures out what the word is. You can also play Cards Against Humanity online. Since you’ll be playing in one server, you’ll be synchronized and be updated with the scoreboard.

  • Or just chat

Not everyone is comfortable with calls, so a good old chat would do. The best thing about this is that thousands of messaging apps are available for download. Sometimes, you don’t even need to download them because they’re built in your phone’s software.

In these difficult times, a small act of reaching out is valuable. As people go into isolation and struggle to piece together their mental health state, knowing that someone out there cares about you means so much.

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