SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — With a growing number of South Koreans facing depressive symptoms and helplessness as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep them indoors, online meetings are gaining popularity as people are looking for platforms to express their hobbies and self-development.
The fact that users can encourage one another by sharing their activities and foster a sense of community is seen as one of the strengths of joining an online community, without having to engage in physical contact.
Community members engage in various challenges as simple as waking up early, studying foreign language, exercising and reading.
“I love that I can focus on myself by carrying out these simple daily tasks like copying lyrics by hand and engaging in five-minute daily drawings,” said a local office worker.
Volunteer activities are also jumping into the so-called ‘untact’ sector as an increasing number of welfare facilities are shutting down due to stricter social distancing measures.
“Making protective masks at home to make donations, and utilizing a drive-thru system to deliver food are newer forms of untact volunteering,” said Jung Hee-sun, Secretary General of the Korea Volunteer Service and Culture.
Experts argue that engaging in online activities and voluntary services is a way to overcome the sense of helplessness rampant in the coronavirus era, something that helps strengthen the sense of belonging.
“Social facilitation theory suggests that the presence of others can increase one’s overall performance,” said Kwak Geum-joo, professor of psychology at Seoul National University.
“But the social isolation induced by outside forces such as the coronavirus is taking a depressive toll on society.”
“Meeting strangers on an online platform can create synergy between users. Sharing stories with someone and achieving common goals can help counter a sense of helplessness,” Kwak added.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)