This pandemic has been a very rough socially for everyone—even teens, who (believe it or not) are very social creatures.
Fortunately, this generation of teens instinctively turns to social media as a means of communication with not only their friends but also other more global influencers. Most celebrities have been encouraging their fans to stay home, only go out for necessary things, and stay six feet away from people that don’t live with them. However, that is not their only message. “Social media definitely influences teens,” acknowledges freshman Ashanti Maldonado. “For those with any problems at home, they have influencers posting that everyone is loved…positivity and encouragement.”
Yet, the best source of encouragement is through the teens themselves. One way has been through TikTok. This hugely popular social media app has had teens making videos explaining how social distancing is very important: The more people who practice social distancing, the faster this pandemic is over with.
However, more interestingly, teens also post videos of creative ideas on what to do during this time, including random challenges, and also about how great life was before this crisis and how going out was a luxury taken for granted. Maldonado appreciates this aspect: “Social distancing can be very difficult for teenagers—especially since it’s our young years, and we want to hang out with friends and go out.” Adding on, she acknowledges the need to stay isolated. “It’s worth social distancing to get us to the percentage that helps get us back to somewhat of a normal life.”
Most teens have been able to connect on FaceTime, Snapchat, and other forms of media. But, it hopefully will not become a way of life. “Teens in general are perceived as anti-social, but school was one way to get others out of their comfort zone,” Maldonado admits. “But the virus has pushed it to another level, where social media is the only way to connect—which can make you feel very lonely.”
Now, think about how lonely those teens are who don’t have any social media. Or worse…those who were never spoken to when sitting next to a live human in class. When this is over, it may be time to reconnect on a more human level with everyone.