I joined an online anime and manga community on Discord earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I have been so active ever since. I remember always checking my notifications and trying to see what's new and always trying to rid myself of the possibility of getting FOMO or "Fear of Missing Out." I would go on the server daily and would hope to make new friends and get accustomed to a new, welcoming community. But little did I know what being constantly active on discord and seeing all the notifications pop up would do to my mental well being. At the start, it was all daisies and rainbows, until the last few months, when I realized things were slowly going downhill for my well being. I would panic whenever I wasn't able to be on discord as much and realized how petty I felt in the environment. Every little thing would cost a DM or a rant in the "trigger channel."
I am happy to say that this was a learning experience for me. For someone not as technologically savvy and very new to Discord, being a part of an online community has done wonders to me. I have always been a firm believer that face-to-face meetings were essential, but thanks to this experience of being part of a couple of servers, I began to appreciate the innovation that this generation has come through with. It was the first time I was able to interact and form close bonds with other people through an app. Most of the time earlier, before this quarantine struck, I would usually be interacting with other people, in person rather than just through chats and voice chats.
But this was definitely a stepping stone for something greater and brighter that would await in the future, as far as my social life. We live in a technologically advanced world, where most of the time, it is difficult for us to actually crave human interaction as much in today's generation. I do long for a day where technological innovative gadgets and apps won't take away human interaction. Human interaction is something very valuable and instinct to our being. It is one of the ways in which we have communicated for many, many years. And to have that taken away, would just be having a part of our innate soul taken away as well.Being part of an online community has taught me several things about quarantine. But first and foremost, it has taught me that quarantine is making us crave attention more. We become more focused on small things, because we don't have the larger things to see in front of us anymore. Most of us are still in quarantine and have been living a very mundane, day-to-day life ever since the pandemic started. We favor all the new emojis that are added to the keyboard and anything new that pops up in the announcements tab. We begin to think and believe that our life revolves around the connections that we have online, rather than if it were in person. And I am starting to miss the opposite of that type of environment. I miss how people used to meet up in person at a cafe and shared a doughnut or a bagel. I miss how people would ask each other if they wanted to go visit the animal shelter the coming weekend. But most of all, I miss human interaction.