Are you zoom fatigued? Does it satisfy your need for connection?
Scientists at MIT have discovered that the same part of our brain that activates when we are hungry also lights up when we are lonely. Social connection is essential, with loneliness linked to poorer health.
It has taken millennia for us to evolve through close social contact. It is unrealistic to expect that online connection will fill the void immediately. The political commentator Fareed Zakaria even argues that it diminishes rather than nourishes our social capital.
When children grow intellectually and emotionally, it is through social imitation. Live interaction in the classroom, notwithstanding the dangers of viral spread, is justified. There are critical phases in their development, and when they lose out on these opportunities, it’s challenging to catch up. Adult learners of a foreign language will sympathize!
Meanwhile, as scientists search for ways to link video and social learning we can continue to use our imagination. Remember how the Italians sang to their neighbors from their balconies.
Speak to that neighbor across the fence regularly. You never know how you might feel. Imagination and science is a powerful alliance. Blaming zoom, though, might be an easy option!