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03.20.2020Community

Stuck at home? Take this time to reconnect with the present

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While we’re all coping with the temporary new normal brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s take the opportunity to put the phones down and be present with our loved ones.

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These are unprecedented times for our generation: with the global threat of COVID-19 looming over us the nation is experiencing closed schools and various levels of curfews, shelter in place orders, and probably the largest work from home population seen to date.

Confinement is creating connectivity patterns

We’re all experiencing some degree of abnormality and discomfort as we figure out how to adjust to the current circumstances.  For many of us, that means working from home and taking conference calls while parenting and schooling our kids. 

On top of these critical activities though, we’re finding ourselves with more time than ever to indulge in binge-watching, cloud gaming, scrolling through social media, and checking our personal email - our week-over-week network usage report shows it.  Parents are in a particularly tough spot, having to work while watching their kids, and are already relying on screen time to help mitigate the distractions.

Reconnecting with the present

These are tough times.  Because of constant connectivity, we feel an obligation to fulfill all roles simultaneously.  We get it.  But with unprecedented times comes an unprecedented opportunity: to put the devices down and be present with family.  Maybe not for the whole day, but when possible.

“One way you can accomplish this is by designating no-screen periods for the whole family, lasting at least 30 minutes. That will mean that you have to find another way of being with yourself and others,” suggests Jelena Kecmanovic, PhD Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at Georgetown University.

Taking time to disconnect and purposefully interact with our families without devices not only allows us to reconnect and catch up, it also has some pretty solid mental health benefits.  Face-to-face interactions have been shown to reduce levels of depression, loneliness, and anxiety according to an article written in Psychology Today. Dr. Kecmanovic adds, “Humans are social species, and evolution has made us respond best to real-world connections, as that was the only interaction available for most of human history.”

If you live alone and are primarily staying in touch with family via video chat, this is also a great time to catch up with yourself.  Sometimes we forget that some solitude and meditation can help refocus our own energy, allowing us to give back to others even better.

We know that staying connected during these times is of the utmost importance both to fulfill work duties and keep in touch with loved ones alike.  But when you’re not video chatting with estranged family members or tending to work, it’s okay (and even encouraged) to take some time to put the devices down and be present with the ones around you.

Learn more about Verizon's response to COVID-19.