This isn’t news to anybody, but it’s Friday, so I’m just gonna come right out and say it: Take a walk. Everybody, just close your laptop, put down your phone, and take a lap or two around the block. Please!
Does it seem like social media was even wilder than usual this week? I can’t even remember what happened, beyond a YA controversy spreading to the far reaches of Twitter, which would have been enough. Twitter specifically is less and less productive every day, just a giant emporium of people yelling into the ether and only rarely listening to one another, even when they’re supposedly arguing. When I tweet, even when it’s related to something I’m deeply passionate about, I feel like a drunk person getting confrontational with an inflatable Santa. Of course, the impeachment proceedings were a steady drone in the background, along with Trump’s tweets about the impeachment proceedings. It’s the dying end of autumn, so nobody is getting enough daylight and a chill is creeping into the bones and everybody’s stressed about money.
Taking a walk won’t fix any of the larger issues at play, here, but it is a way to elevate your heart rate that will reduce your risk of stroke, unlike, you know, sitting online and being bombarded with notifications. They’ll wait until you get back.
I have never been especially fond of the outdoors or exercise, even though I know it’s very good for me, and now I’ve reached the point in adulthood when it’s very difficult to find the time for regular trips to the gym, which is also expensive. No membership fee is required, however, for a brisk walk to the corner and back, though! Plus, I recently read some thing about “uitwaaien,” which is apparently a Dutch concept for taking a brisk walk in blustery weather, which frankly sounds very nice and manageable.
There’s an entire cottage industry, at this point, of intense solutions to the problems created or at least exacerbated by modern technology: digital detoxes, the entirety of wellness culture. Because most of us are neither a tech billionaire nor Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s all too easy to get sucked instead into furiously posting, or even scrolling angrily and muttering to ourselves and our loved ones. Mostly, this just lines the pockets of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, ie, the people who are helping to make us all so cranky in the first place. Perhaps there is an answer that is simpler and as old as our ancestors’ ability to balance on their two feet: have you walked today? Look, it certainly can’t hurt.
Personally, I’m walking to a book and bake sale this weekend. Other Jezebel staffers will be walking their dogs. All nice things! If it’s good enough for Elizabeth Bennett, it’s good enough for the rest of us. For god’s sake: take a walk!