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If even after the curfew ends by staying another twenty days indoors we can flatten the curve, let’s make #digitaltouri...
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Introverts and the Internet will save you in quarantine

If even after the curfew ends by staying another twenty days indoors we can flatten the curve, let’s make #digitaltouri...
  • As the world is still adapting to life under lockdown, it is perhaps time to take cue from our introvert friends who have been leading fulfilling lives despite not going out and socializing as frequently as extroverts.
  • It is also time to make the most out of the myriad options available online to keep ourselves engaged and entertained.
  • Abhik Choudhury, the Chief Strategist & Founder, Salt and Paper Consulting shares some valuable tips on how to ace this lockdown by sharing some of the things one could explore, while living life in isolation.
It’s 2 am on a Tuesday night, Sufjan and Sinatra lullaby in the background as I write this article like I would have had two months ago. If you’re reading this on your smartphone, have food, internet and a place to call home, then you’re already luckier than most people in such an intimidating year; count your blessings. In the last century there has been the Spanish Flu and Asian Flu killing millions in months. The striking difference now is you can watch movies on demand, stroll through museums in virtual reality and work from home with Zoom and Hangouts Meet in the luxury of your living room.

In the last two decades we have made a world where superficial need of social validation by going to exotic vacations, posting the #OOTD bought last evening from Zara, mushy selfies with partners and albums of office pub outings is the new normal; all of this to stir digital endorsement in the form of likes and comments from people you meet twice a year. And now with self isolation that void feels like a black-hole to a generation flirting with ADHD, who can’t fathom the idea of calm having been bred in chaos their whole lives. For a welcoming change now is the time for them to take cues from the introverts in their groups who anyway used to skip the dance parties, game nights and karaoke clubs. So how did they survive the last decade when it is becoming suffocating in less than a fortnight?

To begin with, their idea of happiness isn’t dependent upon others, call them geeks but they will find equal joy in binging Stranger Things alone as much as you did by getting sloshed with stranger beings till the wee hours of the morning. One of the biggest myths about introverts is they avoid crowds because they are afraid of them when in reality it’s a lifestyle choice even for some of the most powerful people in the world like Zuckerberg and Gates. So when you look at it for what it truly is, you can learn to not only accept but also appreciate the temporary tweak. The choice to voluntarily lay off red meat to control high cholesterol demands acquired maturity. A lifestyle shift by definition urges an evolved state of mindset, don’t see it as a downgrade of your freedom but an upgrade of your consciousness. Another wonderful thing to emulate is their innate ability to love and pamper themselves. Pizza with truffle oil tastes magical on its own and treating yourself to fresh mimosas while sunbathing on your balcony needs just a good playlist, not a big brunch invitation. Such a beautifully liberating thing it is to enjoy one’s own company, no?

A few years ago, millennials started a trend #staycation where going to local Spa and doing movie nights at home gardens was preferred over foreign travels. How about trying #digitaltourist this autumn which feels like RR Martin’s winter. We can send group invites to friends and whilst sharing screens doused with virtual reality, walk through some enviable museums like Musée d’Orsay, Paris, breathtaking Sistine Chapel to Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Your gang loves to hang out with animals? Penguins at Dublin Zoo, Giraffes at Maryland Zoo to Hippos at Cincinnati Zoo are being live-streamed during their feeding times. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to Met Opera New York are giving the suave music lovers a real virtual treat. The National Theatre, London will be showcasing free plays every Thursdays from 2nd of April and U.S. National Emergency Library is offering free digital access to 1.4 million books. If you want to polish business skills, events such as Salesforce Connections and the Adobe Summit are virtual and free this year. Even the coveted lectures of Nobel Award Winning Economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee and The Museum of Modern Art with series of free classes on Coursera are waiting for passionately curious visitors. If you’re missing your gym sessions, yoga studios like One Yoga and Yogi Approved are live streaming online classes so that you can find peace in these unprecedented times. In India, Cult.Fit has generously made high octane, live workout sessions with the likes of Mary Kom, Mandira Bedi and Vijender Singh free for all. Whatever your heart desires this year, in all likelihood someone out there has already made it available for you to learn from home.

This January, Samsung introduced Neon, artificial humans ready to share experiences with evolved emotions and intelligence. But there is still time for the 'Black Mirror' meets 'Her' product to be available for purchase. Till then, we need to find solace in self isolation with what we have grown up with.

If even after the curfew ends by staying another twenty days indoors we can flatten the curve, let’s make #digitaltourist the trend of the month to save the year.

- This column has been authored by Abhik Choudhury, the Chief Strategist & Founder, Salt and Paper Consulting. He is also a visiting faculty of Market Research & Campaign Planning for the Advertising & PR department at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.


COVID-19IndiaCases: 182,143Deaths: 5,164Recovered: 86,984
COVID-19WorldCases: 5.82mnDeaths: 363kRecovered: 2.57mn
COVID-19USACases: 1.70mnDeaths: 100kRecovered: 406k
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