Let’s share, for the sake of unity, community and our sanity.

 

Thirteen days of quarantine haven’t been easy. Each day seems to bring with it a new surprise influx of feelings and emotional discomfort, but despite all that I’m seeing a lot of positive that’s coming out of this, on a social level, an artistic level and a human level. 

Last weekend I listened to live poetry readings by some of my favorite Spanish writers and actors. This weekend I’m attending a virtual music festival, whose flyers are graced with international names, all performing live from their homes. I saw a full Cirque du Soleil performance that left me breathless, and I’ve taken advantage of many tutorials that have come out in the past few weeks. People are coming together. Artists are sharing with us what they do best, just to keep our spirits up and our sense of community in tact. Below is a extract from an article I read, which inspired me to contribute to these acts of solidarity. During the quarantine, my eBook will be available for as close to free as my publishers will allow, just $0.99 and can be found through various online retailers, amazon and !ndigo being a few of them. Keep in mind, each retailer adds their markup, but it will be minimal. I think this is a great time for us all to ask ourselves the question proposed below by Sherry Turkle. “What can I authentically offer? I have a life, a history. What do people need?”

 

A healthier digital lifestyle.
Sherry Turkle is professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT, founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and author, most recently, of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.

Perhaps we can use our time with our devices to rethink the kinds of community we can create through them. In the earliest days of our coronavirus social distancing, we have seen inspirational first examples. Cello master Yo-Yo Ma posts a daily live concert of a song that sustains him. Broadway diva Laura Benanti invites performers from high school musicals who are not going to put on those shows to send their performances to her. She’ll be watching; Lin-Manuel Miranda joins the campaign and promises to watch as well. Entrepreneurs offer time to listen to pitches. Master yoga instructors teach free classes. This is a different life on the screen from disappearing into a video game or polishing one’s avatar. This is breaking open a medium with human generosity and empathy. This is looking within and asking: “What can I authentically offer? I have a life, a history. What do people need?” If, moving forward, we apply our most human instincts to our devices, that will have been a powerful COVID-19 legacy. Not only alone together, but together alone.