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Finding Moments Of Joy In A Challenging Year

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Sarvnaz Michel, a 28-year-old nurse who works in St. Jude Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit, video chats with her grandmother, Acar Sharifi, in her home July 14, 2020, in Garden Grove, Calif. Michel’s career has forced her to blur and blend her two lives. She juggles decisions like breastfeeding during a pandemic and whether she should move out of her home to keep her son and husband safe. “The thought of infecting either of them or my family,” she said. Her voice breaks and her husband, Cody, rubs her back. “It’s crazy.”

In an insanely challenging year, many have found joy in an uncommon place: the internet. From skateboarding while drinking cranberry juice to “Rate My Zoom Room” twitter accounts, content creators and regular folks have found ways to get creative online.

This hour on Disrupted, we talk about this phenomena and the growth of Tik Tok. We also hear about how joy can be an act of resistance; and, how we can incorporate play into the monotony of pandemic life.


Rebecca Jennings – a reporter with VOX covering internet culture

David Dennis, Jr. – Writer, Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Morehouse College and author of The Defiance of Black Joy in an Especially Anti-Black Year

Ian Bogost – Contributing writer at The Atlantic, Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and author of “Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, The Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games”

Viral Moments of 2020:

Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.
Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an award-winning scholar at Wesleyan University, author, and host of 'Disrupted' on Connecticut Public.