It’s like a flashback to the last recession.
We’re starting to see headlines that claim to tell you what exactly life will be like post-pandemic. The clickbait looks something like this:
DEATH KNELL: THING YOU MISS IS GONE FOR GOOD AND NEVER COMING BACK!
It’s all reminiscent of the “…Is Dead” headlines we saw years ago and wrote about in 2011 in this blog post. It may be worth reading again. I wish we had saved, for entertainment purposes, all of the bad takes that grossly exaggerated the extinction of something that simply ended up only changed, in some cases, temporarily.
Here’s some advice based on that experience: Please don’t click on those articles. If you do, read them as speculation, even infotainment. Don’t take them too seriously. Don’t dwell on them. Feel free to disagree with them. Please don’t share them on social media. More than anything, don’t let them stress you out. Use common sense.
Of course things will change, as they already have. But “gone forever” can be going too far. As just one example, attention on these lists is being paid to the “death” of live, in person events because they aren’t being held, for now. Sure, it’s really hard to picture how and when they start happening again, safely and legally. But to predict their permanent demise, in the name of attracting attention or some attempt at glory, is foolish and ignorant.
Forming crowds is part of the fundamental human experience. It’s instinct of our species. We are social creatures who come together to share experiences. We have gathered together to listen to music since presumably when cavemen banged sticks against the walls of the caves. We have assembled for rites and celebrations like weddings for all of recorded history. Crowds for athletic competition viewing have come together since before the ancient Olympics in 776 B.C.
Nobody who is being honest will tell you that Zoom is anything more than a temporary solution to fill these voids. Demand is, from everything we hear professionally, building for everything from bar nights to fundraising galas to conferences and conventions to happen again, someday.
It’s only speculation to think about this with any level of detail. In-person events are just one example. It feels like every day, we see more examples of scary clickbait on platforms from personal social media accounts to bonafide business news outlets.
It’s easy to lose some element of perspective when things have been thrown so out of whack. It’s hard, sometimes, to see beyond the windows of your home. Just ask a public relations guy who hasn’t physically seen many people outside the house in months. When scrolling through your feeds and seeing headlines, don’t forget what you knew before mid-March. That should inform your perspective, which is as valuable as anyone’s, especially those throwing crap on the wall to see what sticks.