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Social Media Distancing: Turn off your Facebook

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

It's been about a week since the mayhem of insanity happening around the world came into our jungle world. We live in a little bubble down here in Montezuma. No television. No newspapers. This is how I fell deeply in love with this little town 15 years ago. It was August 2005 and I spent my days doing yoga and lounging on the beach while the world was wrapped up in the media frenzy of hurricane Katrina.

But unlike 15 years ago, there is now internet everywhere along with decent cell service in most parts. And now, the perhaps, bigger change...Facebook. Oh what a strange relationship we have developed with this website/app. We rely on it for keeping in touch with friends, sharing photos and filling each other in our opinions about everything from where the best place to eat is to how much we love or hate the president of our country.

Coronavirus, or Covid19, or "The Rona" has the world on lockdown. Well, not the whole world...the first world anyway. We are "free to move about the country" as the popular Southwest Airlines commercial says. Costa Rica has some cases but the hardest implication of the virus has been to tourism, their biggest economic driver.

Right now all over the world people are being told to socially distance themselves. Stay home except when it's absolutely necessary. Schools are closed. Ski resorts are closed. Small businesses are closing. Big businesses are closing. All this over a flu. Like there's never been a flu before. It's insane. The flu kills people every year. Some people opt for a flu shot. Some, like myself, take our chances. Why the fu@k is this so different?

People are going crazy on Facebook and I was one of them. I have zero fear about this virus but I do fear the economic devastation that will ensue after the whole world shuts down. I also feared how easy it was to scare the entire planet into playing along with this circus. Then a friend joked on FB, "Maybe we should social media distance ourselves so we don't have read so much stupid shit?" Ding, ding, ding. Costa Rica is my happy place. Montezuma is my happy place. Our property is my happy place. Nothing has really changed in my world except for more frequent hand washing. Sure yoga classes are cancelled...I haven't been to a yoga class since I've been here except to teach a couple times and I'm no longer teaching. Why was I letting everyone else's fears get to me? I was I so wound up? I even triggered my PTSD...why?? One thing had changed for us...for me anyway.

We've been social distancing ourselves since we moved here. We barely leave our property except to get some sun at the beach (it's too hot to sunbathe without a body of water nearby this time of year), to restock the kitchen/bathroom essentials (there is plenty of toilet paper on the shelves here), and occasionally treat ourselves to a dinner out. Social distancing wasn't a new thing for us all and, in fact, it's our favorite choice we make. The label was new though. And the fact that I hated that everyone else was on lockdown. I hated how quickly the world fell under the spell of the media. I hated how this might affect the economy. I hated that I now felt that I had to go out and do stuff because we aren't on lockdown. Ding, ding, ding again. Ah...anxiety because I feel like I've gotta go be doing stuff. Anxiety that I have STOP social distancing in order to rebel against this thing. Wow that's a huge weight lifted. Long deep breath out. It's okay to choose social distancing without a lockdown. Rebeling against this virus business was making me sick...not in a dying from bird flu kinda way but in a disturbing my mental peace way. I love social distancing. I love that whole world is getting a little taste of what I love so much about living here. They may not like a lot of it because of where they are stuck (ie, in a tiny apartment in a city) but maybe they'll discover something they do love about keeping to themselves.

No more hate. No more fear. Loving knowing that the universe has a plan. All things I wanted to be believing but wasn't able to. I'm now 'officially' social distancing by choice AND more importantly, social media distancing. I will only post one thing per day from now until this whole thing is over and who knows?? Maybe that will become something I love. Maybe social media distancing will be my new normal. Maybe? Maybe not? But I know I will likely discover some other activities I love as I replace the time I used to spend addicted to Facebook.

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