Stockholmed by the screen

I stood staring at the garbage sack for about a minute in my track pants and sandals, before I decided to change into something more appropriate. ‘That’s ridiculous’, I hear you say. ‘The container’s just around the corner, and nobody cares what you look like anyway.’ 

That was a bit hurtful, but I get your point. It is ridiculous – but the principle’s what counts. What’s more,  till very recently most people in most countries would have agreed with me. The home and the street were two different worlds that didn’t use to meet. 

With the advent of online ‘education’, however, the distinction became slimmer than ever. My Ikea table turned work desk, while strangers were made privy to the state of my bedroom. The only consolation was the UG’s valiant effort to keep Google’s green tentacles off our personal information – which, of course, is the rightful property of Instagram. 

My energy and motivation levels decided to dance the limbo to see which could get lower

The crazy thing is that the more I got used to it, the more I began to like it. Why would you waste an hour in getting dressed and biking to the uni and back, when you can listen to the same lecture at home in your pyjamas, with a bowl of chips at your side?

My body, on the other hand, reacted as though it were being slowly poisoned – and not just from the trans fats in the chips. My energy and motivation levels decided to dance the limbo to see which could get lower, and my general outlook on life went from ‘mwah’ to ‘bleak’. 

Then it dawned on me: I’d been stockholmed by the screen.

Perhaps what I needed was a dose of  good old fashioned student ‘gekheid’, or a swig of whatever Marc de Groot was having to shake me awake. It might just have been the antidote to the dreary screen-zombie virus I’d contracted. 

Ultimately though, it was a few weeks of forcing myself to leave the house each day, and some deliberate contact with friends and family that succeeded in getting me out of the rut I was in. That, and the end of exam season. 

HRYDAI SAMPALLY

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