Grown folks are having a hard time dealing with many elements of social distancing. And learning new ways to stay connected, to give gifts, and even to pick up some new skills. Which made us wonder: how are teenagers rising to this challenge? They’re creative, energetic, and digitally savvy. Meaning that we can learn a lot from them. We went straight to the source, and we have answers. Our correspondent Lindsey Graham, Class of 2020, is sharing 5 ways that teens are staying connected during the coronavirus pandemic, using social media while social distancing.
5 Ways Teens Are Staying in Touch During the Coronavirus
The coronavirus has brought out resilience in all of us and shown just how much we take the little everyday things like going out to eat, or enjoying a day at the park for granted. But we’ve also come to understand that the only things we truly need to be content and fulfilled are food, shelter, and the people whom we love.[white_box]
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As someone who is finishing out my last year of high school at a boarding school with friends who live all over the world, I’ve had to find ways to stay connected with them virtually.
Aside from the use of popular social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, these are the top five ways I, and teens all over the world, are staying in touch during quarantine.
1. Zoom Birthday Parties
Especially for us seniors, this year was the last to celebrate the birthdays of our friends and a big one at that: 18 years old!! Thankfully, during quarantine we can do so via Zoom, the videotelephony program (similar to Skype) that millions are using to have classes, have conferences, or simply communicate with friends and family.
Zoom has a cool feature that allows you to change your background. So if it is your friend’s birthday, you should consider getting together and having a virtual surprise party for them, complete with birthday cakes and happy birthday banners in the background! I have attended one of these and although corny, it makes the birthday person feel really loved in a time that might otherwise make them sad.[white_box]
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2. Pen Pal and Book Exchange
Throughout my school and the United States, there is a nation-wide pen pal campaign in which people can write letters to both people they know and complete strangers who decide to participate. People are connecting all over the country sharing their quarantine stories and the things they are doing to make light of their situation.
Some people are even sending their favorite book along with a letter, and the great thing is that for every letter or book you send, you are guaranteed to get one in return. I think it is a beautiful way to express that we are all in this together. Getting an unexpected letter from my friend has certainly put a smile on my face in recent days.[white_box]
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3. Group Workouts
This one is my personal favorite. For the past three years, my best friend and I have gone on a walk or run down to the river a couple miles from campus for as many days as we are able (yes, even in the winter!). We both love spending time in nature and staying fit, so it has been a great source of stress relief and bonding for the two of us.
With coronavirus, lots of kids have been finding ways to get some exercise because staying inside all the time has proven to be unhealthy for one’s mental health. Understandably, it is sometimes hard to find the motivation, thus group workouts are a super fun way to get your exercise in. Whether over Facetime, Zoom, or even through a virtual workout app, it is super easy to go on a run or do an indoor workout with your friends.
Companies like Peloton have blown up recently due to their amazing, motivational virtual classes, which can be watched from your phone with their mobile app or on their smart fitness machines, the most popular being the stationary exercise bike. The point is it’s always fun to release endorphins with other people![white_box]
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4. Netflix Party
Who doesn’t like movies going to the movies with a friend or loved one? I realized that this didn’t have to stop simply because we are on lockdown. Netflix Party is a Google Chrome browser extension that allows over 500,000 people to watch the same Netflix television show or movie at the same time.
And the great part is that only one person has to have a Netflix count for this to work! Kids all over the world settle in to enjoy a virtual movie night with their friends to wind down after a day of working hard in school. It’s a great way to feel connected and stay in touch. You should try it and don’t forget to make some popcorn for the most authentic experience![white_box]
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5. Video Games
We had to know this one was coming! While I am not a user of video games, all of my friends have been spending tons of time on them. The most popular game right now is called Animal Crossing which is played on the Nintendo Switch and simulates a village community in which one creates their own life alongside lots of cute animals.
The catch is that you can play at the same time as your friends and go to their villages, so in a way it feels like real socialization. Haha, I won’t play it because it seems like another thing to get potentially addicted to. But hey! It passes the time and is bringing people of all ages lots of joy![white_box]
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is this too much tech time?
Now, I know what you might be thinking. This seems like a lot of time on technology! This can’t be healthy, especially considering that teens are taking classes on screens. Don’t worry, I know at least my friends and I are, now more than ever, prioritizing the importance of getting outside and away from the screen at least once a day to maintain our mental health.
I am extremely blessed to be in a position where I’m both safe and living comfortably, but no matter what your situation may be, I think that in a time like this it is crucial to find something to distract you and make you happy, because your worst enemy during this time is truly your own thoughts and fears. Stay safe!
join our community
For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.