“Until Tomorrow” – A Very Human Challenge

By Ben Hamill - March 28 2020
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Until Tomorrow

Social distancing is a thing and truly is trending in the oddest of ways on social media platform Instagram. Gen Z’s may be steering clear of public spaces, but they’ve now taken their unique variety of crazy online. And anyone who has over the course of the past couple of days come across photographs posted along with the caption “until tomorrow” will probably agree that the world has bigger problems than Covid-19 – especially in the long run.

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“Until tomorrow” is a quarantine challenge that has surged in popularity especially among Gen Z’s using Instagram for daily entertainment and whatever else it is that Gen Z’s do with their free time. What the movement basically entails is an invitation to post “funny” or evidently unflattering photos of yourself and then deleting the post one day later. But that’s not all. The challenge then calls on the poster to DM everyone who happened to have liked any of the photos to do the same. And so, the horrible process continues.

Does It Even Make Sense?

The challenge obviously makes no sense. And those who actively engage appear to be the only ones even remotely entertained by the content posted. But what the challenge is essentially indicative of is that people are currently pretty much bored out of their brackets. And the fact that the answer to the question, “what actually happens tomorrow?” remains the same, i.e. lockdown happens tomorrow, is seemingly only making the supporters even more determined to carry on with the senseless affair.

And needless to say, the fact that some users have chosen not to continue the challenge by having not tagged future participants, has only served to make the entire thing even more confusing, if not downright senseless, to those already baffled by why some seem to find it all so very, very entertaining.

A Deeper Meaning

But some would say that there’s a much deeper meaning to the challenges currently doing the rounds on Instagram and other social media platforms. And it goes much deeper than simply issues of boredom in a time of lockdown.

People tend to do what they are most accustomed to doing during times of uncertainty. It doesn’t at all feature or matter that the activity in question has little to nothing to do with the crisis or uncertainty being experienced at the time. It relates instead to familiarity and to the human need to engage with familiar things and in familiar activities in times of crisis or confusion.

The Coronavirus has taken us all by surprise. We’re bored and in lockdown, but it’s no normal variety of boredom as it involves a great deal of fear of what may follow. For many, the idea of facing a “tomorrow” is a scary one and to those in self-isolation for having tested positive, tomorrow may be for the very first time in their lives, the only thing left to hope for.

“Until tomorrow” is as sad as what it is confusing and seemingly senseless. It’s a cry for help from a very human, very raw society not at all mature to the challenges posed by a life-threatening; and worst of all, invisible; enemy.

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