Windows Across the World: How People in Different Regions Are Looking Outside

Windows+Across+the+World%3A+How+People+in+Different+Regions+Are+Looking+Outside

Since COVID-19 started making headlines in January of 2020, the world has struggled to deal with multiple quarantines and lockdowns. Millions of people across the globe are doing their best to stay at home and limit contact with others.

While self-isolation is a fantastic way of slowing the rate of COVID-19 transmission, it can also produce some unpleasant side-effects. Several days or weeks without human interaction can leave you feeling starved for socialization.

Instead of spending another afternoon staring out of your home’s windows, you can shake things up by looking at other people’s windows. That’s right. Thanks to worldwide internet connectivity, you can take a look outside in another country.

Today we’ll explore the negative effects of self-isolation and discuss how increased virtual socialization can help lessen those effects. We’ll also take a peek at WindowSwap to discover how useful it might be for those stuck at home.

Before we bid you farewell, we’ll address ways that you can share your view with the world. After all, sharing is caring. Unless you’re sharing germs, of course.

Negative Effects of Self-Isolation

Though self-isolation can help reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is not a viable long-term solution for many. That’s because humans are naturally social creatures. Interaction with others is vital to our physical and mental health.

Support networks are crucial to our overall health, so avoiding human interaction entirely can make us feel unwell or unbalanced. Still, direct physical interaction at this point can be incredibly dangerous and potentially fatal.

This consistent and innate need for socialization, paired with the inability to safely experience it, can have unexpected side-effects, especially over long periods. Some of the most notable consequences of self-isolation include:

  • A decline in short-term memory
  • Weakened verbal communication skills
  • Difficulty connecting emotionally with others
  • General cognitive decline

Avoiding these unpleasant effects can be a challenge while social distancing. However, a virtual connection can help. Reaching out to others via your smartphone, laptop, or home desktop might not be as satisfying as hugging them in person.

But positive virtual socialization can help improve your mood and mental state. Over time, these relationships can develop into meaningful connections that may help you avoid feelings of extreme isolation. 

Benefits of Reaching Out Virtually

Now is the time to take full advantage of your phone’s camera or your personal computer’s webcam. It might still be too risky to visit your family and friends in person, but you can still visit with them via video telecommunication services.

There is some evidence to prove that virtual socialization may provide long-term mental health benefits. These benefits include reduced feelings of loneliness and anxiety, and they lasted up to six months after the interaction occurred.

If you’re still on the fence about using video messaging services to communicate with your loved ones, you want to ease into socialization by utilizing a few helpful apps and sites.

WindowSwap, for example, is a fantastic opportunity to connect with others without saying (or texting) a single word.

What is WindowSwap?

WindowSwap is a relatively new site that allows you to peer into the windows of individuals from all around the world. When you arrive at the homepage, you are provided a button that allows you to pull back the virtual curtain and look outside.

However, you won’t be looking outside into your yard while you’re on WindowSwap. Instead, you’ll be afforded a magnificent photo or a live stream of someone’s everyday view.

You can enjoy the sensation of being near to others without ever having to communicate directly with them. Don’t be surprised if you find it both stimulating and relaxing to browse through random people’s windows.

Can WindowSwap Help Combat Lockdown Loneliness?

WindowSwap may not help everyone find comfort during these challenging times. But it could help some individuals experience relief from overwhelming loneliness, depression, and social isolation.

While there isn’t any direct communication between or among participants, WindowSwap can provide some basic feeling of human connection. Audiences can hear a streamer’s dog barking and see rain clouds roll into view.

You can experience the sincere snapshots of a stranger’s existence without having any negative influences on their health or happiness. That’s one of the most remarkable aspects of this project.

And, naturally, you may also feel more encouraged to refurbish, repair, or replace your home’s windows once you’ve gotten a taste of other windows. Fortunately, there are several ways that you improve the way your windows look and function.

Improving Your Home’s Windows

If you’re keen to share your view with audiences around the world, you may want to liven up your window. Sharing an image of a dirtied pane isn’t nearly as satisfying as showing others a high-quality image of your daily view.

Consequently, you may want to consider improving your home’s windows before sharing them. There are four primary ways that you could do this. For example, you could:

  1. Perform routine window maintenance
  2. Do a thorough window cleaning
  3. Perform or request window repairs
  4. Install replacement windows

To help you understand how each of these actions could result in a clearer, more vibrant view, let’s discuss each one in a little more detail. Getting familiar with these basics may help you feel more confident when tackling necessary repairs.

Maintenance

If you haven’t maintained your windows over the last several years, then they may be long overdue for some care and cleaning. Annual window maintenance is crucial to the continued longevity of any window.

Homeowners can attempt to perform window maintenance without outside assistance, but it’s often better to contact a window technician for help. Doing so could save you both time and money. After all, tools and supplies are expensive.

And if you haven’t maintained your window or kept it clean, it might be covered in grime and dirt. The result is hours spent scrubbing, researching, and repairing. Consequently, hiring a professional could be a smarter move.

Cleaning

If your window has been properly maintained, it may simply need a good cleaning. There are several safe and effective ways to clean your home’s windows. The first thing you’ll need to get started is a non-staining cleaning solution and a clean cloth.

Liquid dish soap works well on most surfaces and you only need a small amount. You combine a few drops with a large bucket or container of clean water to get your cleaning solution. Once you’ve got your suds ready, grab your cloth and dampen it.

Be sure to wring out excess soapy water before gently scrubbing your window frames. It’s ok to apply a little extra pressure to particularly troublesome spots. Adding a single droplet of dish soap to your cloth can also help tackle set-in dirt.

If you’ve noticed signs of mold around or inside of your window frame, you can neutralize it with a bleach and water solution. However, window replacement may be a better, healthier option.

Cleaning window panes is a breeze and requires a few clean paper towels and some glass cleaning spray. You could also choose to use a water and vinegar solution and a reusable microfiber cloth. 

Always spray your solution onto your cloth or towel and never directly onto the glass. Work in small circles, starting from the center of the pane. Following these rules can help you avoid streaks and unpleasant residues.

When your windows are completely spot-free, you can feel proud to broadcast your view to the world!

Repair Work

Unfortunately, if you’ve ignored both window maintenance and regular cleaning, you may have a few repairs to handle. You could choose to perform the necessary repairs yourself or hire a professional to help.

Either way, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to identify what repairs are needed. Some of the most common problems experienced with older windows include:

  • Faulty seals
  • Structural cracks
  • Rotted framing
  • Sticky jambs
  • Transpanel condensation
  • Frame warping
  • Absent track lubrication

An expert opinion may be necessary to determine what types of repairs you’ll need. Fortunately, many window repair companies offer free evaluations to help you get started. 

But in the end, it may be better to simply replace faulty windows. Repairing windows that are a decade old (or older) may be a lost cause. It may be more beneficial to pay for window replacements than to handle several costly repairs.

Replacement

If your windows are beyond repair, then it may be time to invest in replacement windows. Window replacement and installation costs can be higher than the repair costs. But the benefits associated with brand-new windows cannot be ignored.

Replacing your old windows with updated, high-quality models can result in improved interior air quality, protection from UV radiation, decreased utility bills, and increased property value. New windows can pay for themselves over time.

Besides, after your replacement windows are installed, you can take that perfect picture to share with the world.

Take a Look Outside

Though self-isolating is a fantastically responsible and positive action, it can have a few notable mental consequences. This is especially true of individuals that live alone and have little to no contact with others.

Choosing to communicate and share virtually can help lessen feelings of loneliness during this trying time. Utilizing WindowSwap is an excellent way to look outside and into the windows and worlds of others across the globe.

After visiting a few foreign windows, you may feel inspired to broadcast your own window-centered view of the world. Fortunately, replacing your windows has never been easier or more convenient.