Connection Exhaustion

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When we first started sheltering in place, I was pleased how fast my friends, family, and I used technology to keep in touch. This includes:

  • Zoom for meeting face-to-face and gaming.
  • Discord for chats, videos, and gaming.
  • Duo for video chats.
  • Facebook for some meetups.
  • Phone Text.
  • Plus miscellaneous technologies.

For all the challenges of Shelter In Place, we were all doing pretty good. I was thrilled and impressed – in fact, some of us were more connected than ever!

Then it began to become a drag. It was hard to get enthused, or schedule events. Sometimes I just wanted to be alone.

So what happened?

I began to realize this social shift had it’s side effects and wanted to share why I found this initial chance to connect exhausting.

First, I was doing plenty of meeting technology at work. After awhile, the thrill was kind of diminishing when you’re on four Zoom meetings a day. Everything began to feel the same.

Secondly, we were so connected and had so many options it was hard to know what to do or use or schedule. Old social rhythms were gone, and we had to construct new ones.

Third, the benefits of socializing had changed because we used different ways to connect. The joy of watching a movie with someone online is different than in person. A chat in text is different than a voice chat. We have to find “what works for us.”

Fourth, well, there’s a Pandemic and political change going on. All of this kinda complicates the above factors.

I’m trying to address these right now. I’m asking what I want, find what works for me, and pace myself. Oh, and keeping in mind this is going in a time of challenge and change.

So if you’re trying to connect socially these days, and at times it seems exhausting or not fulfilling, think about my experience. Ask how these factors affect you – and how you can figure what works for you.

Steven Savage