Working from home; self-isolation, lessons at home; furlough etc… all designed to minimize the risk of infection through social interaction. While it’s kept out economy ticking over, the downside of all these measures is the loss of social contact that human society depends upon and craves. No wonder that when distancing restrictions abate, people flock to pubs, cafes, rave parties or form impromptu gatherings, courtesy of the hospitality sector.
The advent of home computers and the hard-sell promotion of mobile technology and social media, have driven people into an insular existence for many, particularly the young, that challenge our mental well-being and create unwelcome opportunities for criminals and misanthropists that prey on the weak, the elderly and the ill-informed.
The young have partially filled the vacuum with texting, but it is just another alternative to face-to-face, human interaction that, because of the powerful camera/video functionality, also provides additional scope for abuse and intimidation.
Can we ever hope to reverse this trend? Global companies vie for being first with the next “must have” technology – their very survival depends on maintaining a supply-driven business model. Peer pressure is huge. Advertising is becoming ever-more intrusive on every aspect of our lives. How can we push back?
Short of intervention, one possible way forward is to promote and deliver a more attractive and sustainable alternative lifestyle and one which everybody can share and afford.