As the opinion editor for The Phoenix, my job consists of searching my thoughts and feelings on a subject and reporting my findings to readers. Since I’ve been confined to my apartment the past couple weeks, I’ve had a lot of time to think about being confined to my apartment the past couple weeks.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic causing governments around the world — including the U.S. — to take action in controlling the rapid spread of the disease.
The virus is mainly spread through person-to-person contact, so in an effort to distance people, the government released a set of guidelines urging people to self isolate in their homes through the end of April, President Trump recently announced.
As I lose track of what day it is, I probably have the same thoughts as everyone else. This situation is crazy. I miss my friends. And how long will it take me to watch everything on Netflix?
I also began noticing how everyone is still keeping in touch with one another.
Despite the situation confining us to our homes, I’ve noticed introverts are thriving and extroverts can too.
I generally consider myself an outgoing person, but I’m not a big fan of being around lots of people. My friends are aware I don’t like going out to clubs or other similar social events, eating out at restaurants is daunting and people who catch me off guard in public are in for an awkward conversation. In that way, I’m an introvert.
Even though the past couple weeks have been an enjoyable time filled with laying down while in class, day drinking and stuffing my face in the comfort of my own home, like many people, I don’t like being completely alone for long periods of time.
I’m sure there are many people who are missing their friends while self-confined at home. It’s hard to deal with a shrinking world, but we have the ability to make our world as big as we want in a way that makes us comfortable.
The communication abilities we have at our fingertips are astounding. Applications such as FaceTime are a huge step forward from what people had available just 15 years ago. The face-to-face conversations people have on these apps provide a platform where we can communicate with facial expressions and limited body language.
Even with this technology, it might not feel the same as socializing in person. As an introvert, talking with someone on Facetime can be frightening. My face on someone else’s screen with nothing else to distract me or the other person is strange and I’m not sure if they can tell that 95 percent of the time I’m staring at myself.
People need more than another person to properly socialize.
When we want to spend time with other people, it’s common for us to make plans to do something. Getting drinks, playing games and, if you live at home in the suburbs, driving around aimlessly are how we talk to people.
Friends are made through shared experiences and unless you’re playing an uncomfortable game of Cards Against Humanity with your parents, there aren’t many shared experiences you can have right now.
However, don’t fear. There are devices made specifically for people to feel like they’re having these experiences without them even occurring. It’s time for video games to shine.
Most people are probably aware that video games are a fun way to pass the time, but it’s also an amazing way to socialize and spend time with friends.
Right now my closest friends are my buddies who I play video games with pretty much everyday. We all talk to each other using the voice chat party feature on the PlayStation console while playing games and it feels natural.
Virtual interactions aren’t the same as the real world, but it does offer a unique experience which I hope many people embrace while they stay home.
Beyond classic controller video games, technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) systems allow people to become virtual characters and join chat rooms to meet new people or play games with other players. From virtual bars to bowling alleys, extroverts might want to check this out for a virtual night out.
VR headsets can be expensive so if you’re strapped for cash then look no further than your phone.
There are thousands of games available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store. On the iPhone’s messaging app, people can send each other game requests to play right where they text message. My sister just won $50 on a virtual beer pong tournament with other members in her business fraternity using this feature.
There are a lot of ways to socialize from home that both introverts and extroverts can enjoy. As people embrace different ways of communication while social distancing, we can find even more ways to avoid going crazy at home.