Has 2020 made you a better person?

Has 2020 made you a better person, Newcastillian
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Putting aside all the political drama, financial and economical pressures, corruption and so forth. When just looking at oneself over the past months, have you noted an improvement? Have you, like many, had a prolific experience, almost like an “Eat, Pray, Love” scenario, whereby you lost your mind and found it again through reestablishing your values, goals and opinions?  

According to an article on goodnewsnetwork.org, “Two-thirds of Americans said quarantine has made them a better person, according to a new survey.” Adding to the findings, “Results revealed 55% of respondents were a bit embarrassed by some of the things they valued pre-quarantine, and the many months spent at home gave 70% a chance to learn more about themselves.”

But when looking at South Africans, where would you say you land on the topic of positive change?

Our hearts all filled with love, as we, from the confines of our lockdown prisons, watched people from all over the world exercise various forms of joy or selflessness. It was like we, for the first time, in so very long, cared about society, our communities and nature. Absorbing hours of heartwarming videos with people playing instruments from their balconies as others collectively joined in from all around, sing and cheering, not allowing the dreaded lockdown to rip that last flicker of social connection away.

Adversely, are you the person who lost your mind in the alluring black-hole of negative content? Watching the pressures of the lockdown and all the bumps and bruises which came along with it, motivating your anger and frustration, seeing you placing more focus on the negative versus the positive? Well do not feel alone, there is an answer.

Published in an article on helpguide.org, multiple studies revealed a powerful link between heavy social media usage and an increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Stating, “Social media may promote negative experiences”, such as: Inadequacy about your life or appearance”, Fear of missing out (FOMO), Isolation, Depression and Anxiety, Cyberbullying and Self Absorption. 

But, through this time, I have noted, many people fundamentally changing.

Not that surface-deep, shallow change we all once believed we were bragging about. No, with us all going through hell, we learned to appreciate the small things again, we stopped chasing image, as our hair grew long, and pyjamas became the suits we dawned throughout the day. We stopped and took note for the first time that we are indeed in a hellish state and place in time. But do you know what the secret is when going through hell? You just got to keep ongoing. In conclusion and to offer some comfort, as witnessed multiple times throughout human history, we have faced extraordinary challenges, many far worse than those faced today.

In the words of Kenneth Goldsmith – ” If you work on something a little bit every day, you end up with something that is massive”. 

Author: Calvin Swemmer

Referenced articles: –  https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/2-3-of-americans-say-lock-down-has-made-better-people/

Helpguide.org – https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htmhttps://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm.


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