The digital Yin to the COVID Yang

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If you ever viewed the digital world with suspicion or wariness, you might be finding it a life-saving platform just about now, with the COVID-19 pandemic having painted you into a corner.

The screens were distracting the kids. Now, the screens are saving lives. Eternal balance means good and bad are always swimming together.

In simple words ‘Yin and Yang’ can be termed as ‘Bad and Good’ or ‘Negative and Positive’. ‘Yin and Yang’ is a concept of dualism according to ancient Chinese philosophy; it describes how, despite being opposites, things may be inter-connected and also complement each other.
Due to the current scenario in our country, talking about or making any reference to things related to ‘China’ may not be looked at positively but that is just the point I am trying to make — sometimes in negativity there is positivity.

We, along with the entire world, are facing and traversing through some very difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are suffering, lives are being lost and many are staring at a life filled with uncertainties, be it mentally, financially or many other such difficulties. Not just individuals, entire countries are now heading towards a turbulent future.

During these adverse times, the one thing in our lives that has proved to be a boon and is helping us extensively is the ‘Digital’ world, the ‘Internet’ and ‘Social Media’. We all have been advised to stay home or work from home for our safety and to break the chain of this dangerous virus. According to studies, this virus can be avoided if we maintain a ‘Physical and Social Distance’ with people. While we are doing that, the only way for us to communicate with each other is digitally through the cyberspace.

Before the age of the Internet and the Digitisation of our world, though we did communicate over the telephone and other existing mediums, we would also meet each other in person. We watched television at home for our entertainment, but we also entertained ourselves outside our homes or workplaces, and spent a lot of time outdoors. Parents would always ask their children to finish their homework and go out and play. Outdoor activities, whether for sports or recreation, occupied an important role in our lives. Even older people used to spend more time on outdoor activities after they were done with their home, college or work duties. People went to cinema halls, visited the theatre, played outdoor sports and spent time in parks or gardens.

But with the advent of the digital world, when the Internet started to become an integral part of our lives, our old lifestyles began to change. We began spending more time indoors with our phones, computers and television, etc. The outside world began to enter our indoor world and we got accustomed to it. Children found more reasons to stay home, and adults too found comfort on their sofas and chairs. Almost everything became available at the press of a button or the swipe of a screen.

This created two opinions. The old school people felt that this would spoil the future generation, while those stepping into the future saw it as an opportunity to succeed faster. Just like everything, this phenomenon too has its negatives and positives, and though opinions were divided, we have largely accepted and embraced it.

Then one day out of nowhere, came this Pandemic called COVID-19 and we were all locked inside our homes suddenly. The only way now to get in touch with the outside world was by digital means. Be it communicating with each other, gathering information about the disease or getting our office work done, almost everything had to be done through the Internet, the social media.
The same parents who asked their children to go out and play are now helping them download apps to do online schooling and courses.



What seemed to them as a bane is now appearing to be a boon. Many who weren’t fans of digitisation, who continued to keep the Internet and the social media at an arm’s length, have now started to use the same to carry on with regular life. Fittingly, elders who would discourage kids from being glued to their iPad screens are now taking lessons from them.

Everyone is trying to learn and adapt to this new way of life and therefore what comes to mind is the philosophy of the ‘Yin and Yang’. While the two are opposites, they can lead us sometimes to the good things in life. It all depends, in a very clichéd way, on how we think — for some the glass is half-empty and for some the glass is half-full. It is up to us how we perceive it. We all want the good things in life and therefore we avoid the bad. But even those that we deem as ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ contain a lesson or two for us. And, if we recognise this and learn from them, life will always be good.

We must make adaptability a part of our lives and befriend all the changes that life brings upon us. If we are ready and aware, we will always be able to find a way out of a difficult situation and make our living comfortable. Like the black-and-white Yin and Yang symbol, you will find a bit of bad in every good and there will always be some good in the bad. Maybe this Digital ‘Yin and Yang’ is proving to be just the same.

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