Oldenberg proposed a model where
- "Home" is the first place; it's where you live
- "Workplace" is a second place
- Third Places - This is where people go to exchange ideas, form relationships, and create communities. One video elaborated on this last idea, suggesting that a "Third" place could be a park or a bar."
Dr. Peterson agreed. He wrote "[Oldenberg's] new term – third place – that made instant sense. Third places are where people congregate other than work or home. England has pubs, France has cafés, and Austria has coffee houses. Once upon a time in the United States, common third places included country stores, post offices, barber shops, hair salons, soda shops, and taverns."
What does this mean in 2020, with the Covid 19 world-wide shutdown?
The pandemic has adversely affected all three places!
For most of 2020, physical Third Places were completely shut down. Restaurants and bars were closed, and "social distancing" was enforced in stores that did open their doors.
The Workplace was affected in many ways, too. First, there were massive layoffs as many people discovered their jobs were non-essential. Next, work-from-home has become the new standard for those people that still had jobs. Finally, social distancing was enforced where offices were open. Schools can be considered a "workplace" for kids. They were completely shut down from March to summer and opened in the fall to reduced schedules.
If Home was a sanctuary, then it had the potential to be a safe place. Unfortunately, families were confined to their homes. (Personal: my heart went out to families in a large city where kids and pets where stuck in an 1100sqft apartment! They could hear their neighbors, but couldn't walk next door to say "Hi!")
The Internet has become the new Third Place.