Rakesh Wadhwa:

What will normal look like post COVID-19?. And will this change everything? World has seen many crisis in the past from health to economic, what is different about this crisis and how would that result in sustained behavior changes amongst people?


Nir Eyal:

I'll try and keep it under the scope of what I study, which is distraction and habits. There's a lot of positive that can come out of this current COVID crisis. Of course we wouldn't wish for this, but if we're stuck in it already, there's a lot of upside that I don't know if people recognize. Some of the benefits include the practice that many of us have gotten into, of scheduling time for the people who matter to us. Many of us today, we schedule those video calls. We schedule the time to connect with the people we love most. And this is a big change from what we used to do. Right? Many people, they just give their loved ones, whatever time is leftover, whatever scraps of time and minutes in their day that they can spare for the people in their lives.

Well today, what we're doing is we're checking in on our parents by saying, okay, I'm going to call you every Tuesday at 6:00 PM. We're having these zoom conference calls with our best friends. And I think that is something that has been missing, that we know that since about the 1950s, at least in the United States, there's been this trend, this loneliness epidemic because people haven't had that scheduled time on their calendars to reconnect with people.

So I hope that as a practice that we continue in the future. Having that regularly scheduled time to connect with the people who matter to us in our lives, whether that's our parents, our kids, our spouses, our friends. That's an important thing to hold time on your calendar and protect.