Has lockdown made us more sociable?


In the days before Coronavirus, social media was making me anxious, but having it was necessary for work.
Now, having it for work seems completely pointless as there is no work to be had, but now social media feels like a necessity in order to keep in touch with the world.
Whether it's Facetime, Whatsapp, Instagram or new apps like Zoom and House Party, 
Is social media under lockdown helping us to remain social? (The irony)
(House party you can play games!!)

I was given the amazing opportunity to create a concert to be live streamed so that people could enjoy some live entertainment from their own homes. Originally, I was supposed to perform live from The Theatre Cafe. As government restrictions tightened up, it meant that my live gig would have to be live from my living room.
Honestly, sorting the tech out for this gave me a full on nervous sweat. 
(It was really simple, but I didn't eat that day until the gig was over).



Now anyone who knows me, knows that I really love my personal space. I love having people round to my flat, but one at a time. I teach mostly from my parents in order to keep my flat private.
Yet, here we are in these truly bizarre times and I've set up my living room with a camera, a light and a place for my laptop and cup of tea (In my wizard of oz mug). 100+ people tuned into my live stream and so kindly bought tickets to watch me sing.

As a performer, whether we care to admit it or not, we feed off applause. 
For me it's a way of feeling validated (Some people would say attention seeking, of COURSE there is an element of that, but it's so much more deep rooted in needing to know you're doing a good job...Actors are weird). 
Doing a concert for an hour completely in silence, might be one of the most bizarre and scary things I have ever done. I sometimes rely on my chat and attempts at being funny, yet with no audience feedback, I was more convinced people would be laughing AT me than with me.
After an hour, I blew a socially distant kiss at the camera and signed off.
I then had to open all my windows, shower, change my T-shirt and breathe! 
The nervous sweating was real!
 Dramatic?

I sing a lot for myself at the piano and in my house, and I felt very exposed letting people in. But maybe this current social situation is teaching me to be braver where I can. Having a large group of people be that supportive completely took me by surprise.



So, again, is a forced lockdown encouraging people to communicate?

Obviously there are some huge pro's about communicating through various different apps. 
I have to say whatsapp groups used to be more than enough, and now Zoom chats are being scheduled in daily so everyone can catch up with each other through video chat. My family are a loud bunch, on both sides, so video chats are an actual assault on the senses. I love the catch ups, from here to the USA, but seriously, everyday???

Did you know on House Party, anyone can join in on your chat if you don't "lock" the room?
I was video chatting to 2 different friends yesterday, didn't lock the room and suddenly my brother joined in on the chat.
He thought he was hilarious. I thought he was supposed to be working from home?

Games, Quizzes (Which I will be doing later on Zoom), Home workouts all through social media channels, it's crazy!

Can we also discuss for a minute how many peoples living rooms I've now seen from videos of home workouts?
Seriously, after this lockdown is everyone going to look shredded?
I'm also doing home workouts...I am also eating my body weight in Oreo's and Party Rings. 
Some of Team Zorro doing Gen (The Gift's) Abs and Press up challenge
Don't be fooled by all the proactive people on social media. I have been fairly pro active, I have also napped about 4 times a day.

People have compared this lockdown to war time, and although I luckily have never lived through a war, I think this is quite different. During war times, cinemas and theatres were still open as a form of escapism from the violence happening throughout the world. My favourite film, The Wizard of Oz came out in 1939 and people flocked to the cinemas. 
This feels very different. We do not have a threat of sirens telling us to take shelter, we have police telling us to keep 2 meters apart and go home.


I'm not a massive fan of mass gatherings and big groups, so that doesn't bother me, but not being able to have my friend round for a glass of wine and not being able to just pop over to a friends for a catch up is proving to be a challenge. 
Whilst social media can provide an intimate setting for talking to friends, it's not quite the same as getting drunk in your PJ's with your friend and watching stupid youtube videos together. (Frankie McCan, I'm talking about you).


In a time before lockdown
I mean, yesterday, I reorganised my sheet music and alphabetised it all, I'm so rock and roll.
My house has never looked so clean and I've never slept so much in my life.
I guess we all have to look at this time as an enforced break, rehab if you will.

Whilst social media might be helping us to stay social, nothing beats real human interaction.
So, my plee, STAY INSIDE. I would like this to be over sooner rather than later. I have a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa that I am dying to crack open and a lockdown glass doesn't quite cut the mustard. 

Stay healthy, keep working out, keep eating all the food you want (Party Rings are always my treat of choice) but most importantly, stay home.

This amount of social media should be banned! But desperate times...
I will be on House Party, Zoom, Facetime, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for all social interactions.
Even typing all of those apps gave me heart palpitations. 

Byeeeeee xxx




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