As the ongoing quarantine has forced students inside and away from one another, teens have had to find new ways to connect and socialize while obeying the restrictions.
Although students are unable to meet with friends or go to public areas, they have more time to bond with family members.
“I really like to cook, so I cook for [my family] here and there. We also play a lot of games… or watch movies,” senior Sukriti Roy said. Students are spending time with their families more often, getting closer through chores and games.
Despite the fact that much less interaction between friends is taking place, finding ways to spend time with friends has not been as limited as many people expected in March.
“I’ve been connecting with people over the internet,” freshman Suwen Ren said about spending time with others during this period of isolation. “This quarantine has proved to be an interesting opportunity for me to explore new platforms and talk with not only my friends, but strangers that have the same interests as me.”
Suwen and other teens have been communicating through Discord and Houseparty, and through playing games such as Among Us, Minecraft, and Jackbox. These games can be played with others over voice chat, creating an environment where students can interact with their friends.
Needless to say, this quarantine has also been hard on many. Not seeing or interacting with our friends in person has obviously taken its toll, with many students having difficulties due to changes in the way they socialize.
“Due to the lack of interaction I find myself getting really nervous and anxious really easily, so it’s really hard for me to hold a proper conversation,” freshman Leena Chung said. This problem has become very apparent when we talk to our friends, as not seeing their body language or facial expressions more makes it difficult to understand them well, or gauge where the conversation is going.
Even without a pandemic, many people still use the internet and video games to communicate and spend time with others. This raises the question of how spending time with others will change in the future after the quarantine.
“I would meet in person because it is more fun,” freshman Sahan Pamajula said. “The only thing you can do online is games. Being in person has more possibilities.” Although spending time online has been a valuable replacement for in person communication, it doesn’t yield the same benefits, as there are limitations to the various activities online. Without the visual cues for sarcasm, discomfort, and other feelings, it is much harder to get feelings across.
Even in these trying times, teens have found ways to communicate with friends and family through social media, online games, and even meeting in person while following guidelines. Despite the difficulties, communication is still an important aspect of our lives, and people should continue to do their best to stay connected with others.