As governments around the world slowly start opening up after the pandemic, doctors are cautioning us to wear masks and follow social distancing.
However, some people are going outside without wearing masks or are standing too close to each other. For people putting in the effort to follow the rules, it may get frustrating to see people not following them. However, trying to confront can come with risks, and shaming on social media can backfire.
So what should you do when you see people not practicing social distancing? According to Syon Bhanot, a professor of behavioral economics at Swarthmore College, instead of posting a picture of people not social distancing to publicly shame them, it is more effective to snap a picture of yourself following the rules and react positively to people who do the same. This can convince some people to do it too and they will continue to affect more people. This is called viral behavior.
Another way to respond is to respond with compassion. Instead of getting angry, mentally wish them well. Thanking people around you that practice social distancing can also promote it as their efforts are being acknowledged.
Sources: NPR, NYTimes