By Siena Soffer
Due to the statewide order to self-quarantine, students have remained in their homes for much longer than normal each day. This can come with many difficulties—especially regarding social interaction and the tactility that comes with seeing others in person. There is a solution to the feeling of isolation during this time, and that is the reconnection with the outside world. When students cannot see their classmates and friends every day, the internet is something they can turn to.
In an effort to avoid being out of touch with the rest of the world, social media has been a go-to for many people. Applications such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and even TikTok have kept the public in the loop. Remaining in communication with one another has been vital in reducing loneliness in a time where everyone is forced into introversion. Schools are even able to reach out to their students on a platform that feels more personal. @chaparralpumas is a prime example of this—an account that is connecting with students on Instagram. This account is making posts, reminding them of the fact that staff misses them and generating a sense of hope. Feeling confused and frightened during this time is understandable as many have been thrown into a new reality which differs from their planned future. Though not present in person, there are many people offering emotional support online and spreading positivity through posts.
Although social media was already familiar to many students, it has become more prevalent and their use of it has expanded. As for keeping in touch with friends and family, many have found solutions to the issue. Junior Aaron Nuqui explained that he and his friends “have Group FaceTime calls over the phone and just talk or do things like play games together.” It helps to relieve the sense of loneliness many people tend to feel in isolation. “For the most part, everything’s been alright and my friends and I have all kept in touch almost every day during this quarantine, which is good to have, especially in times like these,” Nuqui concluded. FaceTime or other video chatting programs enable face-to-face communication despite the distance. Though FaceTime is only available on Apple products, video chatting is possible on Skype, Discord, and Google Hangouts, which has been frequented by many teachers during distance learning. The internet has truly been an asset which has aided people in keeping contact despite mandated distance.
The need to socially distance has changed the way society as a whole functions. The stay-at-home order has forced the relationships between people who do not live together to go online, making the internet play a key role in communication. The virtual world has helped many stay connected and relieve lonely and sad sentiments. Applications and sites such as Instagram, Facebook, FaceTime, and more have helped resolve this issue as they are means of staying in contact.