Every coin has two sides. Well, technically, it has three. Heads, tails, and the rim. But let's pretend that only the two sides matter even though if you think about it, most of life doesn't happen on either side, it happens on the rim. In the in-between. Not good, not bad, just kinda in the middle.
But much as we don't talk about the rim of the coin, we don't really talk much about the in-between, so-so stuff in life. What we talk about are the things that come down squarely on either side. We define ourselves by what side we are on or by what side we are not on. Who we are with and who we are opposing matters to our identity.
We can get trapped in a bubble narrative when we spend too much time on one side of the coin. We forget that the other side exists and don't even talk about the rim. That never existed to be forgotten in the first place.
Here's a bit of the current narrative:
Social distancing is really difficult and leads to mental health struggles.
It's true. For a large number of people.
It's also not true. Also for a large number of people.
It is sometimes true and sometimes not for an even larger number of people.
I think that for almost every person who is badly affected by the current situation, there is also a person for whom things have become a bit easier. There are people like my friend from London, who are extremely social and love working around others. These people really suffer during this time of isolation. There are also people like me who feel much better than before with a lot more home office and less work-related connection with people.
I read this article about how working from home is dangerous for people's mental health and how it leads to more isolation and loneliness.
I think that might be true because social interaction happens to be a by-product of working in an office. Sometimes, this social interaction is even fun and beneficial. It's a side-effect of work forcing us to get out and meet the world.
Alas, I don't think it is a reason to hold on to traditional workplaces.
I don't think that the social aspect is necessarily something that is "right" with work.
I believe it is much more that the lack of interaction and connection is something that is wrong with our communities instead.