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The Utter Weirdness of Small Talk in a Pandemic

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The pandemic has illustrated the deep interconnections among people, how profoundly interdependent we are, and how we need one another.
But our languages lag. The pleasantries we usually use are not well equipped to account for our tragedies.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Utter Weirdness of Small Talk in a Pandemic

The Utter Weirdness of Small Talk in a Pandemic

https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/03/evolution-small-talk-pandemic/608344/

theatlantic.com

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Key Ideas

"How are you?"

One of the small consequences of the pandemic is that it is turning “How are you?” into a question again.
In ordinary times, people don’t ask “How are you?” because they want a real answer; they ask it because asking is what you do. This question is usually a simple, polite greeting.

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The pandemic has illustrated the deep interconnections among people, how profoundly interdependent we are, and how we need one another.
But our languages lag. The pleasantries we usually use are not well equipped to account for our tragedies.

The bias towards optimism

Pleasantries are optimistic things; they insist on seeing the bright side of any situation.
A pandemic, however, is not a moment of “I’m fine, thanks.” It is not a moment for the superficially polite. It is a moment to be caring, by discarding some of the traditional politeness. Find linguistic hacks, to emphasize that you don’t want to know how someone is doing in a typical way, but instead in a way that is tailored to this dreadful moment: How are you … considering? How are you doing … with all this?

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Stoicism: the art of staying calm

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy that was founded by Zeno of Citium, in Athens, in the early 3rd century BC.
It is an ancient tool for remaining calm in adversity, a philosophical ...

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”

“Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.”

“Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.”

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Digital anxiety

Digital anxiety

We are addicted to our phones-that is a fact we are all aware of. Furthermore, in periods of time when we cannot have direct interactions with other individuals, we even tend to obsess over our mob...

Set boundaries in regards to your screen time

Whenever you feel like you are spending way too much time on your screen, consider setting clear boundaries: it is not the same to work and to just waste your time by watching things that might even end up increasing your anxiety.

Therefore, try using a separate device for work and personal activities and, the most important, make sure to set a limit to the amount of time spent while checking news on social media.

Choose quality over quantity

Whenever you choose to spend your time on checking social media, make sure this is not a wasted time.

So why not trying to learn something useful during the days when you cannot leave your house due to different reasons?

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The World After The Pandemic

Sometime in the future, this state of Lockdown will end and we can go back to our normal lives. If we don’t do anything, we will return to the same gridlocked cities, extreme noise and air pollutio...

The World Should Be Different

  • Companies that find out that teleworking is working for them may extend it to employees even after the lockdown, building trust and avoiding rush hour traffic in the process. They can also provide flexi-time to their workforce.

  • We need to invest in clean energy so that the clean air we see in this lockdown period is maintained.

  • We need to look into a better and more resilient economic system which protects the disadvantaged, and maybe start the much-debated UBI (Univeral Basic Income)

Our Education System

Our education system needs to be rethought and restructured, changing the way we impart education. We need to make e-learning a regular feature and make the school experience more student-friendly.

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