Right now, many of us aren’t able to enjoy the ‘normal’ social life we’re so used to. And lockdown has certainly had its part to play, but not in the way you might expect. Mary shares her family’s recent experiences and the surprising impact ‘socialising’ in lockdown has had on them.
I have to admit, my social life in recent years has been pretty non-existent. As a parent of two kids under five, and with many friends in a similar boat, our Saturday nights down the pub were sadly a distant memory long before lockdown began.
A couple of years ago I moved miles away from home, so a lot of my closest friends and family now live over 100 miles away. Our catch-ups in recent years had been relegated to Facebook, WhatsApp and the occasional trek across the country for a birthday or wedding.
To be honest, most weeks my partner and I rarely have evening plans. We just get the kids in bed and then collapse in front of Netflix with a glass of Pinot - oh the cliché! However, since lockdown, quite surprisingly, I seem to have the best social life that I’ve had in years.
Some close friends of mine, who we rarely see as they live 150 miles away and have young kids too, are now in regular contact. We’re having weekly Zoom calls, we’ve played cards, name that tune, quizzes and Pictionary. Last week we even did an online escape room, which was great fun. We’ve also spent hours chatting and catching up.
My Saturday nights now look a bit different as a friend from work invited me to a weekly quiz with some of her friends. There has been weekly themes, fancy dress, and challenges. Most of the time we’ve ended up crying with laughter! We’ve also had lots of other video calls and games with friends that we’ve not seen in ages.
I’ve spoken to my family much more than usual, and it’s been so lovely seeing my young niece on Zoom (which turns out to be so much easier than trying to talk to her on the phone)!
I’m slightly worried that these things are just going to stop post-lockdown. The Zoom calls are already getting much less frequent. My friends are going to go back to their lives, and I’m sure I’ll go back to my Saturday nights in front of the TV.
I’ve thought that after lockdown I should use this experience as an opportunity to kick my social life back into gear. Make more time for calls with friends and invite more people down to visit the family. Friends bring so much joy and yet we spend so much time apart.
Who knew that this time away from the ones you love might’ve actually brought us closer together both now and in the future.