COVID-19 has changed all the rules of social engagement. Workplaces and schools have closed, gatherings are banned, and the use of social media and other online tools has risen to bridge the gap.
But we should remember that strips out many valuable and sometimes necessarily challenging parts of “whole” human communication.
Fundamentally, social media dispenses with the nuance of dealing with a person in the flesh and all the signalling complexities of body language, vocal tone and speed of utterance. The immediacy and anonymity of social media also remove the (healthy) challenges of paying attention, properly processing information and responding with civility.
As a result, social media is a fast and easy way to communicate. But while the removal of complexity is certainly convenient, a diet high in connections through social media has been widely shown to have a detrimental effect on our physical and emotional wellbeing.