I sat down on another virtual writing date with my college best friend. We both sat in silence, working on our respective projects.
We occasionally talked or got up to make food.
It’s definitely nice to be in the company of someone else, but…
something is missing.
It’s nothing like our college study dates at our favorite local café in small-town Tennessee.
I miss the smell of coffee as I walk in the door, sitting down with my newspaper and my college best friend.
I miss studying there until I literally fell asleep in the booth.
I’ve spent the past year in virtual relationships with my family and friends. Being an expat, it was always an inevitable reality. Then came COVID and an eight week lockdown in an apartment in France. FaceTime calls and Zoom dinner dates became the new norm. Don’t get me wrong: I’m very thankful for the technology we have now that allows us to communicate so easily and quickly with everyone around the world. (I mean, can you imagine trying to go through this in 2002 with dial-up internet?!)
But virtual relationships won’t last forever.
They simply can’t.
As comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently wrote for the Times, “Energy, attitude and personality cannot be “remoted” through even the best fiber optic lines… Real, live, inspiring human energy exists when we coagulate together…”
Humans are not made to communicate through screens. It might work for a little while, but it will never fulfill that deep satisfaction of sitting down with colleagues or first dates face-to-face.
How much longer will this continue before it breaks? People are already on edge, secluded and isolated in the name of fear. People are dying of loneliness and confusion, as well as COVID.
What do we do? Not everything is going to continue remotely. No matter how much you enjoy being in the comfort of your own home, having the option to go see other people and interact in a normal setting is nice.
There’s not really a point to this post. I just miss people.