Earth 2 Mars

Apr 29 , 2020
Connected through COVID-19

How a microscopic organism changed our human connection.

Who would have ever thought that in this lifetime, a microscopic organism would forever shape the way humanity works, lives and connects? For history, instead of fighting wars against each other, humanity is connected around a singular mission to eradicate the corona virus spread and save lives in the process. And while this may be a huge financial and social inconvenience for us all, let’s hope that working our way through these times of rapid and radical change finally teaches us the power of connected collaboration so that we can solve the bigger challenges ahead.

I recently read an article on Fast Company on how COVID-19 has shifted the “hook up” culture of dating apps such as Match, OkCupid, Tinder and Hinge. According to Fast Company,  data is showing the people using dating apps are looking for more meaningful ways of connecting on apps previously used purely for casual encounters with the opposite or same sex. Tinder has seen a 20% rise in daily conversations between users and OkCupid is reporting a 30% increase in messages sent on the app globally since March 11th. Match CEO Hessam Hosseini had considered launching video chat as a feature of their dating app, however only 6% of their users base were interested BC (before COVID-19). Since COVID-19, interest has spiked to a whopping and ironic 69% in video chat as a feature, indicating that users’ needs for interpersonal connection had shifted from hook up to connection as virtual dating allows for more emotional and meaningful interactions to thrive. This is reflected in OkCupid’s user base reporting a 5% increase in users wanting long term relationships and a 20% decrease in users purely seeking the proverbial wham, bam, thank you man/mam.

Reflecting on these figures, I decided to take a good look at how connection has changed with my own business, coaching and change clients and, of course, for myself personally.

Replacing the addiction to busy with an unwavering sense of self

I have noticed how AC (after COVID-19), very few people wear the sense “being busy” like a badge of honour. Warren Buffet’s view on busy being the new stupid and now that corona has hit, being busy for the sake of being busy has shone a light on our addiction to busy-ness. So what is left for most of us now that global productivity has slowed down? Well, now instead of avoiding ourselves with large to do lists, isolation and restrictions are forcing us to take a good look at ourselves and build connections from within. While COVID-19 may be forcing us to examine long ignored wounds and limiting beliefs, our clients are choosing to see this as an opportunity to get connected with their true selves, mission and life purpose. There is no avoiding oneself during these times and those who are willing and able to self-reflect, grow and develop will be the ones ahead of the game as we see ourselves through this crisis.

Re-examining our Relationships that Matter

COVID-19 has put the microscope on our own circle of influence as we focus less on the number of people in our digital and IRL (in-real-life) networks, but rather on the quality and meaning of such relationships. The whole experience of recalibrating and resetting has given me personally the space and time to focus more on relationships that matter and are in alignment with my deeper life’s purpose and values. Our coaching and change clients are all in a similar process of re-evaluating their own personal sources of influences as well as business relationships. This means not only a refocus on family, friends and community, but also letting go of those that we were all previously unwilling to admit no longer work and do not add value.

Thinking Global and acting Local

Once we have a deep connection with self and meaningful people in our personal and professional orbits, it becomes significantly easier to see the big picture and how it connects to our local experience. What I love MOST about COVID-19 is that any denial about the impacts of our individual and collective actions has been abruptly shattered and replaced with a local sense of community as well as a global sense of responsibility. My hope is that this teaches us all how to act locally to take care of each other while at the same time, being conscious of our global impact on our planet. COVID-19 has created the breeding ground for leaders of the future who make the connection between both the micro and macro impacts of change. This will go a long way in humanising our outdated corporate and government cultures as we prepare for more epidemics like this as well as bigger issues such as climate change, world hunger and sustainability.

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