Covid Breakups

Goodbye, old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne

Links, reads, shares, places to give:

See also: Instagram apologizes for incorrectly flagging #EndSARS posts as false information. (For more information on the connections between information suppression, technology, etc., visit the โ€œtech readsโ€ highlight on my IG account.)

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This week on IG, I asked people whether theyโ€™d had friend breakups because of differing responses to Covid. It seems to be, as far as I can surmise, a predominantly U.S. phenomenon, in no small part because of the frenetic mishandling and politicizing of the virus that has sowed distrust, fear, confusion in everyone, even (or especially) in intimate relationships.

check out this great and very original meme I made first of all, secondly we r talking about relationship shifts during Covid in my stories, all are saved to a highlight too ! [ID: a still from the movie mean girls that originally said โ€œget in loser weโ€™re going shopping.โ€ Shopping has been covered with the word Covid - brilliant stuff. Above is a question about losing friends in Covid with the response โ€œthey told me I really need to get out of my comfort zone in regards to hanging out..:โ€]
October 21, 2020

Definitely check out the highlight (itโ€™s the first one on @awardsforgoodboys) because I think it provides some much needed perspective, whether youโ€™ve dumped a friend or been dumped, and also offers a glimpse of solidarity with people who are navigating this already trying and isolating time while being further emotionally isolated from those closest to them.

I hope to write more in-depth about this someday (Iโ€™ve got no gas in the tank of my brain currently) but for now, I want to emphasize that if youโ€™ve lost friends/romantic partners, been dumped by friends, done the dumping, had to distance from family who behaved differently, are unable to distance from family/housemates who have different conceptions of what precautions look likeโ€”youโ€™re so not alone in that.

And it fucking sucks. And there are a million other terrible things going on. And itโ€™s OKAY to take a second and mourn losing friends, feeling distanced from family, going through breakups of all kinds.

Yes, sure. There might be silver linings.

Maybe those friendships that crumbled so readily under pressure needed to disintegrate anyways. Fare thee well, old friend, ye no longer make me feel seen, heard, loved, and needed. And perhaps never did!

But thatโ€™s not always true. Saying goodbye to people-who-no-longer-serve-you can feel strangeโ€”a mixture of relief, of sadness, of confusion, of loss. Itโ€™s also fair to recognize that while maybe it was the right thing to happen, the way it came about and what you may have inadvertently learned about someone you thought you knew can have lasting, rippling repercussions. It leaves you to cope both with the corporeal fact of their distance, and the person-shaped question mark they pose in their wake. The firm asks their absence demands of your shared past. Did we ever get along? Was this there the whole time? Is it somehow my fault?

There are many ways it seems relationships are splintering right now. There are the chasmic shifts, the rifts. There are the rather silent ones, the small cracks in the teapot, the ones that begin to fester but still remain. The ones that perhaps remain only because we feel so alone, their presence bittersweet at best. The friends we still follow but have deemed former friends, perhaps without their knowledgeโ€”that weโ€™ve merely muted, that we traverse in the hallways of our digital homes as though nothing has changed, knowing fully well that everything has. There are those relations that are stretched, that still exist but are wrapped around a shared love rather than a common understanding. There are the type of intimacies where you are so close to someone and yet feel they donโ€™t know you at all, a dissonance that be more painful than an altogether split. There is watching our chosen family betray us, watching our non-chosen families do the same.

Point being, this moment in time is changing everything. Has changed everything. Our interpersonal relationships included. Iโ€™ll leave this chart here for now, itโ€™s helped me a lot. Please feel free to email me ( if you want to talk more about this!

Of course, here is my dog:

ID: a photo of Clementine with her head on Shelbyโ€™s leg. Her face is very smushed so itโ€™s more wrinkly than usual.

Last things:

In self-promotion news, two podcasts I recorded in the last few months both came out this week, Iโ€™m linking them below! Remember folks, donโ€™t you dare call me nice!!!

The internet is harder to navigate than ever before. From fake news and hateful vitriol, to censorship and shadow-bans, sometimes spending all our time online feels impossibly claustrophobic. โฃโฃ
We sat down with @awardsforgoodboys to discuss how the URL world โ€” and the way we interact with each other within it โ€” is changing, for this week's The Skin You're In podcast. โฃโฃ
๐ŸŒผ ๐’๐ž๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก โ€˜๐“๐ก๐ž ๐๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐๐จ๐๐œ๐š๐ฌ๐ญโ€™ ๐จ๐ง ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ฉ๐จ๐๐œ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง, ๐จ๐ซ ๐ก๐ข๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐›๐ข๐จ! ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐žโ€™๐ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค! ๐ƒ๐จ๐ง'๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐›๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ž, ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ.โฃ ๐ŸŒผโฃโฃ
The Skin You're In, a Polyester Podcast, is brought to you by Polyester's founding editor in chief Ione Gamble (@ionegamble), and co-hosted and produced by Olivia Graham (@og.irl), in collaboration with @monki.
October 22, 2020
โ€œI would be deeply insulted if someone described me as nice. Not only because itโ€™s not true, it just feels so minimizing.โ€

Shelby Lorman, creator of @awardsforgoodboys, is so much more than nice. Hear her on the latest ep talking about Nice Guysโ„ข๏ธ & how weโ€™re all implicated when it comes to performative niceness.
October 20, 2020

And here is a playlist for you that Iโ€™ll be adding to all weekend <3

Sending a virtual hug in these hell times. Tell someone you love them today! OR tell yourself!

Shelby + Clem