Doing everything online and on a screen is extremely tiring. All I want to do is sleep during lockdown. Believe me, wanting to sleep continuously is not me at all. I believe that I am an outgoing person. I like being busy and getting out and about. Go out shopping or to get a to-do list done. Catch up with friends whenever I can.
I rather be doing something than attempting nothing. Yea it isn’t easy sometimes to do things out in the community because of my impairments. But I always have an attitude to get out and do things.
One would think, like I, that things would be easier during lockdown. I don’t have to worry about getting from A to B because everything is done online. My job is all done on a computer, so I had no problem shifting to working from home. Logistically, certain things in my life gets easier in lockdown.
However, there is a problem! Let’s take a closer look at life. Whether the following is my life or just modern-day general western life, you be the judge.
My screen life
Everything I do on a computer or a smart phone I classify as my screen life. Facebook, YouTube, messaging, work those sorts of things. I’m unable to handwrite, so I do all my writing on a screen. Physically handling cash is difficult, so banking is part of my screen life too.
Reading articles, books, news and the Bible is also easier on a screen for me. Like most people, I get things done and have leisure time looking at a screen. I’m talking about normal life when there’s no lockdown enforced upon us.
My real life
I also have a real life. Everything that is not on a screen is real! Waving at someone we pass walking down the street is real. Doing things in my real life is a break from my screen life. Every time I go out and do things in the community is considered part of my real life.
There is something about going to different locations for different activities. My motivations and what’s on my mind when I’m at work is not the same as when I’m at the gym. One is to complete office type tasks. The other is to give my body a workout. Two different locations where I can live out these two separate mindsets.
I am also thinking and feeling different things when I’m at church, at a café or at home. I go to various places for various reasons. At some places I am determined to work hard and at other places I am relaxed.
The last lockdown in NZ taught me to appreciate presence and commuting. The different locations that I go to have unique environments. My body and mind know how to adapt to and enjoy the different environments.
People, building, scenery and the culture in different places and why I’m there makes up the environment. Being present in different environments satisfies certain needs or enjoyments that nourishes me.
I didn’t realize before how commuting from one place, or from one environment, to another is so impactful. A 40-minute drive from work to home actually does wonders.
Our commutes are like a readjusting time where we are not only traveling but preparing ourselves psychologically too. Start thinking about the tasks I need to do at work or forget them and begin to relax. Depending on which way I’m commuting.
Real and screen life intertwine
Lockdown! Round 2 here in Auckland, New Zealand. It took me a few days to come to terms with the fact that we’re in lockdown. Not being able to go to different places or go and see people is sad. However, my bigger misfortune is getting screen fatigued!
Yes, I do have breaks and go out for walks. However, if I want to continue participating in things I’m involved in, I need a screen. We usually go to a church for church activities and don’t require a screen. Now we do and that becomes part of my screen life.
Things like church, work meetings and hanging out with friends are now all part of my screen life. I don’t want to stop participating in these things because I enjoy them, but it is annoying.
Even more, I’m doing everything in my home environment. My home environment is where I usually relax and have down time. Yet, my real life now is mostly at home on a screen doing A, B and C.
There is no REAL variety in life during lockdown. As a person who enjoys socializing and being in different environments, living in lockdown is the most tiring time of my life!
Please Jesus, do not let my life to ever become fully dependent on screens.
Manuele Teofilo lives in South Auckland with his parents and siblings. He has graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Human Service. Now, he works at Elevate Christian Disability Trust. He enjoys getting around in his electric wheelchair and having fun with people.