Here’s the scene. You’ve just shut your laptop on a Friday night after a week filled with Zoom meetings, inane questions, and an overwhelming amount of work. You get up to two options – either walk over to your bed, which is probably 4 feet away and spend the rest of the night re-watching episodes of Friends with an unhealthy side of takeout food, or you get dressed, strap on your masks (double masking is important), and drive to your friend’s “small gathering” of 15 people and spend the night shuffling between small talk and repetitive conversations about how the pandemic has changed our lives. If you’re anything like me, the first option will always seem more enticing.
While I have always been just introverted enough to want to spend weekends at home instead of being surrounded by a crowd, over the past year, an increasing number of people have been resonating with my exhaustion at the mere thought of social interaction. Our social batteries have been running dangerously low. In a time of excessive technological intrusion in our lives, it only seems right that we equate ourselves and our mental states with a technical metaphor. So, what exactly is a social battery? According to Diya Khatri, a psychologist at Mindtemple in Mumbai, “The term social battery is a metaphor used to describe a person’s capacity to interact and engage with groups of people.” While social fatigue is normal, irrespective of your social battery, this phenomenon has been more pronounced over the last year.
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