By Pacey Cookson
Ever since quarantine from the worldly pandemic began, teens have begun to notice how hard it can really be without face-to-face interactions with each other. The new issue becomes apparent in everyday life now. The inability to see friends and others during these troubling times is really a test of the mental endurance of teens. The main surprise came when teens originally thought that the current quarantine would be quick and easy, but ultimately what occurred was quite the opposite. Instead, teens were faced with a brand new challenge of being unable to meet up with their friends in public spaces. The effects of this are many, and it poses a very serious question: how are teens' mental health affected by this?
Social interaction is more important than you may think. Multiple studies show that a lack of face-to-face social interaction can lead to depression. Along with this is the fact that without a strong connection to others, there is little emotional support. Mental health is such a key factor in the development of adolescents that without strong social interactions and relationships, teens are offset from the beginning. This could lead to many mental health issues during this time of isolation. Social interaction, especially through physical sociability, can also help teens feel and know that they really do have a meaning in life.
Social interaction is also a very helpful thing to have when in school. For instance, having friends and classmates that students can connect with in class can not only help them understand more, but help form opinions. Teens have gained many memories that they will ultimately remember and shape their personality around, and without a strong social bond, teens become isolated and lonely. With the current situation in mind (being the pandemic), it becomes even less difficult to see how teens can be affected without being in a social classroom. Sure, many teens do get distracted in class, but ultimately, those interactions are what breed creativity and growth in the important years of adolescence. But now, with online schooling becoming less like a distant probability and more like a reality, teens are having a difficult time coping and evolving with their current academic issue.
Within the current situation, the only big thing that teens can truly do to stay in touch with others is to use social media platforms. A huge part of many social media platforms is the ability to have group chats or video chats. These are very important because they help teens communicate to each other in ways that are both useful and healthy. Group chats are great for getting to know many people you previously did not know. Video chats, on the other hand, are great for teens because it enables them to talk to each other in a way that is somewhat similar to face-to-face interaction. These social platforms help teens stay healthy in a time that is most troubling while enabling a safe interaction that will not hurt anyone.
Although these may be troubling times and it can seem easy to look at the issues in the world, people must not forget what truly matters: friends. Without each other, teens will have a tougher time in what is currently happening. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on sometimes, but now it is of utmost importance.
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