It's been almost a year but I still hate the term "social distancing"

It's physical distancing we need, and social closeness more than ever!

· · SubwayTooter · 8 · 46 · 95

normalize hanging out with friends in full PPE

@uint8_t i made a post back in march(!) which predicted that "social distancing" as a phrase would eventually lose its verbatim meaning over time (it was a followers-only post, so i can't boost it now).

i don't think i was wrong.

@timezone maybe it's just me being neurodiverse, but I find it hard to ignore the literal meaning

@uint8_t i think my point (which i'm not necessarily explaining that well, having only just got out of bed) is that the verbatim meaning and common usage have diverged slightly, which is indeed kind of jarring when you actually focus in on the phrase itself.

@uint8_t i saw an article way back around april saying we were officially going to use the term "physical distancing" instead, for exactly the reasons you identify

no idea why everyone has continued to use the weird misleading terminology for the better part of a year

@uint8_t I always read that as "distancing for social reasons", i.e. "distancing for virus spread avoidance" is a (positive) social act.

@uint8_t I can't quote any sources on this, but I've heard the term was originally in reference to the different levels of personal space, focused on increasing the "social distance", as in the distance at which we socialise. Doesn't change anything about how the term is commonly understood, of course, but it helped me understand why the term is used the way it is. Fully agree on "physical distancing" being a more easily understood term, though.

(Image source: )

Exactly. The worst we can do to fight the pandemic is social distancing. Maybe phisical distancing will help but social distancing is leveraging loneliness which will reduce the resilience of our immune system. So social distancing in my opinion leads to higher risk of infection.

@uint8_t I wonder why that word has been chosen and was popularised in the first place.

Wrong transfer of technical terms into policy language.

Probably stared as keeping distance in social settings.

Same for non-medical intervention.
Sounds very neutral.

Sign in to participate in the conversation – a Fediverse instance for & by the Chaos community