By Mary Gulino
Clarissa Guzman has been feely particularly lonely this past month. Logically, she knew everyone was going through an equally tough time in isolation, but she also couldn’t help but think that, even in quarantine, her social calendar paled in comparison to those of her peers. Ever the innovator, Clarissa was determined to beat this irrational case of FOMO. She decided, if she was never getting invited to all these fun video chats, she was simply going to video chat with herself. You go girl, pull up those bootstraps!
“It’s shocking how left out I felt,” recalls Clarissa. “That is, before I used tech to my advantage and bought a burner phone so I could manufacture a sense of communication. Now I feel better than ever.”
Quarantine is a tough time to live through, and despite the assumption that others are facing endless free time, people are surprisingly very hard to coordinate with for video chats. Members of Clarissa’s friend group reported complicated text chains and Doodle polls to organize virtual meet-ups. The logistics became prohibitive.
“Fortunately,” says Clarissa, obsessively toggling between two iPhones, “I always know my own schedule, and that rocks.”
When asked what her social calendar looks like in the coming days, Clarissa was very eager to answer, and quick to provide details, harnessing the enthusiasm of someone who may not have had any human interaction in a month.
“Today I have a 2:15 with myself. I’ll probably be making lunch around that time, which is cool because I can be all like, ‘Whatchya making?’ and then I can be like, ‘Hummus!’ and then I’ll be really impressed with myself for knowing how to make homemade hummus. Probably something fun like that.”
Before discovering this life hack to feel more socially relevant, Clarissa had never before truly appreciated the interface of FaceTime. But now, her viewpoint has totally changed, and her appreciation for the app has grown exponentially.
“I get to see my face in the main window and also in the small window in the corner. And on the other phone, it’s the other way around. What’s not to like?”
As for her friends, Clarissa says they feel like a distant memory, and she hasn’t felt lonely ever since ushering in this new phase of her life. “I don’t know what to say, I like hanging out with myself,” admits Clarissa.
When whether she will continue her offbeat social activity after quarantine ends, Clarissa grips tightly to her two phones, brow furrowing. “I think there will be room for all of us,” she concedes. “My friends, and me, and the other me.”
Image: Getty Images/Independent