Afternoon in Yellow / garryknight / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Students turn to technology in search of social interaction amid a time of isolation and limited in-person gatherings. While COVID-19 hasn’t entirely stopped in-person gatherings, it has changed their frequency and safety.
In the digital age, social platforms for students are numerous. These platforms range from messaging to traditional social media to voice and video calls.
The utilization of these formats has increased for many during these times. The switch to online school due to COVID-19 concerns has been felt by Carlmont students who have had to change their social contact strategies while remaining safe.
“I would hang out with friends. I would go places; I would go to the movie theater, we would go eat, we would have sleepovers, all the usual stuff,” said Kevin Bachelor, a junior.
Carlmont students were surveyed from primarily Discord and Instagram on how the pandemic has affected their social lives. While the 41 students were primarily sophomores and juniors with very few freshmen and seniors, the data suggested, somewhat conclusively, that students text one another and use zoom to keep in contact. Additionally, it was found that in-person contact is still popular among those surveyed, as 51.2% of the students listed in-person socializing as one of their methods.
“The coronavirus pandemic has forced many to adapt to different types of communication, such as texting and calling in place of in-person gathering. It has definitely been a learning curve, and I wonder what effects this will have on the world once social distancing policies decrease,” Eden Feuchtwang, a junior, said.
The pandemic has changed the social dynamic for students to a large extent. Many students who didn’t participate in playing video games before quarantining have begun to immerse themselves in that world to reconnect.
“I’ve noticed that simple video games like Minecraft have been great catalysts for socialization,” said Max Srivastava, a junior.
Despite strict stay-at-home orders, the data suggests that a majority of Carlmont students still socialize in person. In an interview with Eric Zhai, a sophomore who reported that he still socialized in person, he emphasizes the importance of following social distancing recommendations.
“If you’re going to socialize in person, wear a mask and stay socially distant,” Zhai said.