Is The Coronavirus Stealing Our Kinship?
Five Ways We Can Still Connect In Person
March 13, 2020
By Randye Kaye
Voice Actor, Keynote Speaker, Author & Broadcaster
It's like an episode of Black Mirror, and we've living in it.
I'm passionate about the Power of Kinship and Connection, and speak to audiences to remind them of how much we need each other, and to be connected to each other, for happiness and success.
We are wired for connection (okay, some of us more than others). But despite the illusion of connection on social media, most of us still need to gather in real life, in person - houses of worship, sports events, conventions, schools, theatre, your local coffee shop, concerts.
Live and in person still counts.
And online conversations are a poor emotional substitute for (albeit a useful reinforcer of) actual connection.
FIVE WAYS TO STILL CONNECT
So, what to do in light of the current Covid-19 fears?
The coronavirus is affecting the economy in so many ways - and the yucky icing on that poison cake is that we are no longer supposed to do the things that nourish us psychologically - hug, shake hands, gather, share.
What's a human to do?
Here are five things we can still manage as we "strive to rehumanize" in this current climate. And hopefully, we will all survive this together (even if quarantined).
1. Use people's names as much as you can, as appropriate.
A greeting across the room is much more personal with someone's name attached.
Just adding someone's name makes is seem more connected and personal.
2. Smile and make visual contact.
This is germ-free, and can serve to rehumanize situations or share a moment.
When traffic is backed up and we're supposed to change lanes, other "cars" seem to ignore your blinkers. But, if you open the window, make a hand signal and eye contact with the driver of the car, you'll almost always be let in.
3. Find commonalities and humor.
I braved a meal at a restaurant recently (gasp!), and ran into a colleague who shared that his arm is bruised from overenthusiastic elbow-bump greetings. Ouch! But we shared a laugh.
Comedy is based on problems. And, boy, are we having a problem. This is happening to us all, internationally. Situations and reactions will range: someone who has contracted the virus, or whose wedding may be cancelled due to fears is probably not going to find this funny.
Still, maybe the rest of us can find some shared humor in all this panic.
4. Use technology wisely and well.
Sure, these screens will help us work from home, attend a class, order a pizza (I keep thinking of Sandra Bullock in The Net - her isolation and reliance on the computer seemed so sad, yet now here we all are), communicate with friends - and let's use it accordingly.
Social media can be a trap, spread false information, send us down a rabbit hole of skewed priorities. So just ask yourself: - is this time on my screen actually connecting me with people? Or am I collecting "likes"?
5. Keep your mind open to hope.
Maybe we all will learn something from this - that we really do need to gather, in person, and our lives are less fulfilling without each other.
Maybe we will be reminded that we really do matter to each other - live and in person - even though the magic of technology might suggest otherwise.
And maybe, just maybe, we will all get through this together and appreciate the human connections that make life worth living.
Randye Kaye has over 20 years of experience as a voice talent, stage/TV/film actress, keynote speaker and radio personality, with a long list of major clients, including Priceline.com, Dannon, Kyocera, Big Lots, Burger King, Executone, Continental Airlines, MISTO, Toshiba, Verizon, and many more. She also provides a trustworthy and intelligent voice for countless websites, e-learning courses, phone systems, on-hold messages, promos, industrial narrations, audiobooks (children, adults), science/medical/technical instruction, video games, travel/real estate/museum tours, and live events.
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