Quarantine Vlogging: Providing Essential Companionship Amidst the Pandemic
Time is but a construct, but as far as many of us are concerned, even that concept is muddy during an unprecedented period of uncertainty and isolation. Our vocabulary has come to accept phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” as commonplace, despite the fact that the global pandemic has only infiltrated our lives three weeks ago.
Hours slog into days that blur into weeks, and just like that, no one knows what day of the week it is, the line between weekday and weekend is blurry, and day drinking is seemingly acceptable.
A total and absolute shift in daily life and shuttering of the places that not long ago provided us with ample socialization and a sense of comfort (I miss you, Target) has left us feeling a whole host of emotions that run the gamut between sadness, grief, loneliness, restlessness, boredom, and so much more.
Put Down Your Screen?
Though the message since the dawn of social media has been to limit screen time (for the sake of your sanity and also your eyesight), I don’t think I’m alone in experiencing a significant increase in the time I’ve spent staring at a screen as of late. (TikTok, I slept on you for too long and I’m fully embracing the wackiness and hilarity you’re providing during this dark time).
Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon, AppleTV+ (why does every new streaming service have + in it)… there’s certainly no shortage of content to consume nowadays. Though movies and TV provide a satisfactory escape for those looking to forget about the outside world for an hour or two, they mostly capitalize on the need for distraction.
Come Together (Virtually)
In this time of staying far, far way from others (family, friends, and strangers alike) for the good of humanity, we crave the companionship we’re told we cannot have and seek the confirmation that others are, indeed, experiencing the same emotions and going through the same motions (or lack thereof) as we are.
Through the power of the internet, people around the globe are capable of documenting their daily quarantine lives, no matter how mundane or eventful. With the ability to travel (close to home or internationally) thwarted for the time being, a welcome return to documenting daily life on YouTube has spread across the platform and audiences are tuning in possibly now more than ever. I know I am!
…right now, when nothing is normal and all I want is for someone to share the same sentiments I’ve been thinking…
With some content creators taking this opportunity to turn their newfound time into something creative or novel, or even informative with those in countries already hit hard by COVID-19 sharing their experiences and advice, many have been documenting their quaran-routines (that’s not a word, but it should be) and personally I look forward to it every day. I like to think that the creator’s vlogging is as much apart of their schedule as excitedly sitting down to watch their vlog is apart of mine. The pressure to be productive during this strange period of time is real, but watching someone do the simplest of things, like make dinner or assemble Legos, is a great reminder that you’re not alone if all you can do to get through the day is simply be.
The divide between content creators and their viewers varies depending on subscriber count and relatability, but there’s no denying that the ongoing pandemic has done an impeccable job of bringing creators and their audiences together through a worldwide event that has touched everyone in one way or another.
On a normal day, the last thing I’d want to tune into is a stranger going about their daily life inside their house without anything remarkable happening. But right now, when nothing is normal and all I want is for someone to share the same sentiments I’ve been thinking but have kept to myself, I’m perfectly content tuning in to watch vlogs of people baking bread (Are you Team Sourdough or Team Banana Bread?), making whipped coffee, and tie dyeing sweatsuits.
All I have to say is…thank goodness for April.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.