Only you can prevent social forest fires

Only you can prevent social forest fires

Lockdown has felt like a decade but there's finally light at the end of the tunnel. Since we're (hopefully) about to head back out into the world, it's about time to address the awkward elephant in the room: being on lockdown has wreaked havoc on all our social skills. Despite our daydreams of blissful socialization all summer '21, it's going to take a hefty group effort to prevent complete social meltdown. We must teach, have patience, and, even against your deepest fears, make the effort to check your friends.

I've never been great at social skills - partially due to ADHD and partially to only-child syndrome. While writing comes relatively easily, when it comes to speaking, storytelling, social queues, how people perceive me, or what to share publicly:

 Yet, somehow, I've gotten even worse at knowing what should (and more importantly should not) come out of my mouth in public; my conversation skills have dipped considerably - plus irritability, over sharing, and anti-social behavior is at an all-time high, among other weirdness. I recently got into a rather large scuffle on the socials for exactly this reason and I'm not the only one.

Tell your friends and loved ones that they're fucking up. I guarantee people who don't give half of a fraction of a fuck about your peeps will get them together if you don't.

All quarantine, we've watched drama after fight after cancelling after criminal behavior reveal after reputation implosion at a rate and level of viciousness that made me realize there's something going on here. That something is a tertiary effect of the pandemic: social skill degradation. People are both becoming worse at knowing how to behave in public and were all becoming more vicious the longer we're on lockdown.


Social skills require constant reinforcement through interactions with others. After a year in jail, military, abroad, boarding school, or locked in the house due to a panna cotta dessert, you're bound to behave differently. 13 months into the COVID-19 pendejo, I don't know a single person who's holding up well. Whether from desperation, neglect, or atrophy we are losing our damn minds. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but it's gonna get worse before it gets better.


Expect a rise in Karen/Becky moments, nigga moments, bar brawls, bro-offs, shoving matches, well-actualism, back-stabbing, short tempers, and other Jersey Shore/Housewives-type behavior. Expect it but also, be prepared to understand and respond.


Most people are just going to jump into the fray and mess. If you're reading this, it's likely you're a person who is thoughtful and willing to part a sea if it means standing your ground. That means you can be brave and do things like check your friends ahead of time to prevent these situations from taking place.


We all think we're being kind by staying silent when people we love lightly misbehave - when they Fuck Up Mini. We don't want people to feel embarrassed, self-conscious, or judged. Also, on some level, we don't want to feel bad about ourselves for being judgmental. For most people, things like criticism, confrontation, and aggression = hatred. But I'm firmly of the belief that preventing your friends from getting molly-wopped digitally or physically is perhaps the greatest expression of love.


Yes, you're gonna have to risk being the Billie Eilish (the bad guy, duh). Yes, you're going to have to risk starting shit to prevent bigger shit from starting. I won't tell you how to do that because despite how much people like my creative output, I'm a prickly, blunt mofo and people don't like me 1-on-1 generally. Regardless, I know it's the right thing to do. I've known it even before Twitter molly-wopped me a couple weeks back - before the coronavirus Polly Pocket made it almost mandatory.


We are in for some fuggin MESS during season 3 of the panaderia. A proverbial forest fire of bullshit if you will. If we're gonna get through this without scorching the entire earth, get ready to be the voice of reason putting out little fires before they become police reports, pregnancies, and "This you?" posts on TikTok.


Tell your friends and loved ones that they're fucking up. I guarantee people who don't give half of a fraction of a fuck about your peeps will get them together if you don't.


What do you think? Are you already seeing this happen? How are you preventing social forest fires in your life?

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