We’ve all heard the orders, suggestions, whatever you want to call it these days. Everyone needs to keep a minimum of 6 feet distance between individuals when outside your home. Some places have stricter guidelines. Only leave your house for essential services. Only go outside if you are exercising. Only to get food. Only if your life depends on it.
Someone coined the term Social Distancing. And I think it is the stupidest combination of words to describe where we are at in the world.
First, let me settle everyone down: I respect and have been following the guidelines put in place by the CDC and the state of South Carolina. I only leave home to snag food or other essential items. Yes, I still ride my bike, but I’ve come to avoid trails because people are idiots who don’t understand the concept of staying six feet apart (or more for those of us who are on the move).
I dislike, no, I hate the term Social Distancing. I think it is an awful description of the situation that we find ourselves in.
Every day for the past month, I have jumped onto multiple live streams and videos with various people on Instagram and Social Media to catch up and see what they are up to (specifically the folks and guests over at Fell and Fair). My group messages have been muted because it’s a constant, non-stop conversation that I can’t keep up with most of the time. Apps and programs like Zoom and Google Hangouts have allowed me to video chat with my family who is spread across the nation and my community group here in Greenville on a constant basis. I’ve also jumped in on some video chats with members of my LARP family and friends scattered across the world. I’ve talked on the phone for hours to catch up with people.
Yes, it’s difficult to remain isolated at home physically separated from those you call family and friends, but through the presence of social media, I have become even more social than before.
This is why I seriously dislike the term Social Distancing. We do not have to be anti-social. We have tools available to us to allow us to get through this together, even if they are different than we are used to. Even uncomfortable at times.
Instead of Social Distancing, I’ve been referring to this period of time as Physical Distancing. Because let’s be honest, we are social creatures that have been advised to keep physically away from one another.
This does not mean that we can’t or are not able to be social, it just means that our normal view of socializing has had to adapt, to change.
I have come to terms with the fact that I will never like the term Social Distancing, and I am trying to eradicate from my vocabulary (and yet I’ve used it numerous times in this post). Instead, I have replaced it with the better description: Physical Distancing.
And we will keep doing the Physical Distancing until it is safe to embrace one another once again. And at that time, even the introverts will need hugs (just respect their space and let them make the first move, because not everyone likes hugs).