You can’t scratch my back

Even when the only “online” we had was old-fashioned landline phones, long before, Skype and Facetime, Whatsapp and Zoom, HouseParty, and th rest, people often ended a call with a “let’s meet up soon”. We need that face-to-face, the handshakes, the hugs, the pat on the back, the ruffling of hair, the you (literally) scratch my back…

While we’re all social distancing in our splendid isolation, staying home to stay well, those online chat apps and what have you have come to the fore. Most of us have now partaken of at least one such “event”, a virtual pub crawl, a band rehearsal, a charity quiz…we can see each other’s faces, we can chat, we can message, we can share digital commodities. And, seriously, for now, while the waves of pandemic and panic endure, it really is all we have, thank goodness for the advent of what we used to called Web 2.0 when most people had only just go on to Web 1…

There’s something missing though…it’s that face-to-face, it’s the body language, the subtle look, the full-on laughter, the chance to connect in real-time in real-space without buffering, without dropouts and glitches, without sound delays and the out-of-sync video. But, there’s no way around it until the tech people come up with zero-latency electronics and even then you still have the problem of not sharing the same physical space.

So…is there something that can make it more real, something that triggers the dopamine receptors and boosts oxytocin, something to chemically or electronically substitute for the feelz? If there is, the government needs to roll out that app or send us a prescription fast…

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.