By Sarah Deiss
With the rise of political turmoil around the world, online platforms and social media have become either an educational experience or a battle ground for topics such as Black Lives Matter, mask coverings and lockdown across the world. The weight of the world is heavy for those inheriting it, including Strathclyde students. The vail of uncertainty that has been draped over us will not go anywhere until the virus does, in the meantime there needs to be healthy breaks from the weights of the world.
“I believe the reason I can say I’ve adapted quite well to lockdown life is due to the existence of social media” Tyler Sharp, a fourth year student said, “there has been so much horrible stuff going on in the world… people’s response and participation in such movements is what has really helped me. I started following more Instagram and Twitter pages that would educate me on subjects, new outlets that focus on broadcasting positive news updates.” Social media is a powerful tool that teeters those who use it on a fine line of information overload and ignorant distractions, and that fine line has been put in bold during these lockdown months. By taking a step back from the online world we found new ways of dealing with the real world.
As outside returns to a ‘new’ normal, we do our best with what we can control and keep normal from the inside. Things tend to seep through, like when watching the news, open Instagram, TikTok or Twitter and we are reminded of the mess that is currently happening outside the comfort of our home. So, what do you watch, consume, or create to get away from it all?
At the start of lockdown, according to Google reports, ‘What to watch on Netflix?’ hit an all time high between the 15th of March and 4th of April in the UK. To counter act the guilty feeling of being unproductive in our society, it was advised that this is time to relax and enjoy the things you always felt took too much of your time. Like rewatching an old series and cringing how people are in such close contact of others and touching everything.
Most Strath students have actually taken this time (those who are not an essential worker) to rewatch or participate in series they felt they did not have time for, or new hobbies they felt had to be put on the back burner but now have the time to putts with. With the rise in sales of many things in the past few months, art supplies, video games, language learning apps, at home fitness, along with increase interest (via google searches) in skateboarding, baking, cooking, and yoga.
“I think with COVID-19 it can be easy for it to negatively affect our mental health and dampen our moods very quickly, so for me I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to remain positive.” Sharp said, and he is not alone. We have all felt the ripple affects of the pandemic and as the lockdown slowly subsides in small ways, some cling to the comfort of the inside while others leap to the opportunity to face our ‘new’ normal. There is no how to guide on what to do during a pandemic, so do not worry if you feel you have not used your time ‘wisely’ or ‘effectively’, as we are all just trying to cope.
Students interviewed: Tyler Sharp, Charlene McElhinney, Rachel Paterson
What we have been buying in the UK: https://www.ft.com/content/55b70e0f-f505-481a-9ece-1c1f8f7b50cd, https://www.lep.co.uk/read-this/these-are-nations-top-chosen-hobbies-during-lock-down-2553016,