I was prompted to write this blog post after an online conversation with a close friend and felt it was something that should be shared. Now don’t get me wrong, I love technology for the things it has enabled us to do. Certainly at this moment it is keeping us connected and that is very important, especially if we live alone. Also being able to buy essential items from online shops is keeping us in our creature comforts in cases where we are self-isolating or shielding basic necessities like food.
But let’s get onto the topic of social media. A source of amusement and entertainment, a place to share photos, anecdotes and memes and also to express our joys and angst – which are all perfectly healthy past times. However, you may also be aware that it can be a double-edged sword. According to the 2019 digital report from Hootsuite and We are Social, we are spending an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day – that equates to over 100 days per year on the internet!
Now this might seem alarming at first but actually it is indicative of the way we live in the 21st century. If you count the 8 hours a day on average we spend at work, if your job is desk based this doesn’t sound so surprising now does it? Technology has benefitted to so many areas of our life, from communication to medical science, and creating paperless offices has been great for our environment. So after hours at a screen, why do some of us then spend our leisure times glued to TVs and mobile phones?
Well I am pretty sure that boredom is a huge factor at the moment. Lockdown isn’t much fun is it? Despite all the positive posts of people successfully finding purposeful things to watch or do, these activities can often provide only a short respite from the creeping anxiety that knots in your stomach at the uncertainty the pandemic throws up. That said, there are some wonderful routine events that can help structure your downtime, and you might stumble across these when idly scrolling.
But although the internet, and social media in particular, can be a wonderful tool to stay connected, it is certainly not the only way. I use messenger daily to contact people, and less often text messages and phone calls, messenger is great for sharing images, memes, and general news and it’s free! It’s brilliant the way we can so readily communicate with a number of people on any given day and I am sure that it providing a lifeline for some people right now. However, there are limits to how you can reach out down your broadband cable.
I have been thinking about all the wonderful mail I have been receiving since the start of the year. Mainly because of my special birthday and the ongoing quilt project, but not exclusively. There have also been some thoughtful surprises! This is why I thought it might be a good time to promote a project where we send gifts of kindness through the post. We are limited to the contact we have with each other but we can that doesn’t stop us physically reaching out to each other, it doesn’t have to be just virtually.
What you send, is entirely up to you. Whether you deliver by hand or the post is also your choice, but for the price of an envelope and a stamp you could be literally making someone’s day with your Happy Mail. And remember it’s not just what you send, it’s the fact that you have thought about the recipient and gone to the trouble of sending it that has the most meaning. So go on, get mailing…you might even receive something back to make you smile