Let me explain before I get too many negative comments! Currently, the term “social distancing” is everywhere. We are told from every direction, that we need to socially distance from one another. This term has always rankled me because it goes against everything that makes us human.
Humans are born into social groups and function as members of the larger society. Our ability to socialize has been an essential part of our evolution. Words have enormous power and once they become part of our vernacular, it is very difficult to change them. During this pandemic, we need to physically distance ourselves from one another, not socially distance.
Social Distancing vs. Physical Distancing
Let us think about the following. The internet’s connectivity through various products allow us to speak, view, and interact with people nearly all over the world. This form of social interaction via our digital providers programs us to accept social interaction via a smartphone, computer, tablet, and so on. If we now accept the terminology “social distancing” we tell our brain that it is a good thing when it really isn’t.
You don’t want to socially distance yourself from others, but physically distance yourself during the pandemic. Once we tell ourselves that it is okay to socially distance ourselves, we open ourselves to accept not only the words but also the action. We could potentially give the upcoming generations the idea that mingling socially in person is bad. This allows them to use the present technology to socially distancing themselves from human contact, and not only to keep healthy.
Where Are We Heading?
We truly have to ask ourselves, where are we heading? Words have a very powerful effect on humans. Many of today’s challenges are based on words being used wrongfully. Think about the power of advertising. Humans are lead down a certain path by bombarding them with words that evoke certain emotions like fear, love, or joy. It can take years to change thoughts and views of words that have been or are still in use today. Thus, we should be extra careful when creating a slogan that could affect our future because of its connotation.
Let’s be real. We have never full-on marketed any types of diseases in the past as we have done for Covid 19. We’ve built an entire marketing strategy around this one. In fact, the year 2020 will go down in history as the year of “Social Distancing.” Let’s put the focus back on the fact that there is a virus of pandemic proportions known as Covid-19 and we need to physically distance ourselves from one another, not socially distance.