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Distance Between Us

Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, face-to-face encounters between people have become scarce and precious. The Internet environment has allowed us to stay connected despite physical distance, but what is this invisible Internet-connected world between us?


On April 7, 2020, a state of emergency was declared in Japan. To prevent coronavirus infections, wearing masks, social distancing and telework became the new normal. Internet use increased rapidly. The words “unnecessary” and “urgent” took our freedom away, and this new environment with limited social interactions made us miss people.


Not being able to meet people in person made me feel lonely. My desire to connect with others in some way led me to spend more time using social networks. The Instagram stories feature used by many friends became my tool to exchange information with people I could not meet. The more stories I posted and the more views I had, the more comfortable and connected I felt - the fewer views, the less comfort and less connection. No reaction to the photos I posted made me feel socially not recognized. At the same time, receiving so much information from friends and non-friends without even meeting them baffled me - I lived the illusion of not knowing where I was.


With the development of technology, we live in the age of communication convenience - we can communicate anytime, anywhere, in a way that is close to reality as long as we have an Internet connection. William Powers, the author of “Hamlet's BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age”, says that we can only live a meaningful and fulfilling life if we have depth in our thoughts and feelings, depth in our relationships, and depth in all of our work and activities. This depth, however, is difficult to achieve with online communication.


I reflect on the differences between in-person and on-screen meetings - on the ambiguity of information in a diluted society influenced by the online environment. I abstract the visuals of IG stories to express the distance between people - the blurred vision of everyday life where emotions cannot be read and the fantasy world of social media. My aim is not to convey that face-to-face interaction is more important than the online one, but to pose questions with hope to have a positive impact on the future of human communication










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