Quarantine and social media. The two truly go hand in hand. People are spending more time than ever doing things digitally. This includes socializing. Things are starting to slowly open. But- we have a ways to go to return to our former world. Students and distance learning have been a topic of huge discussion. Something else that is coming into play is social media. With in-person socializing a non-option for today’s youth, how are they connecting to their friends and families? How is the power of social media an outlet for them? We’ll explore this below.
MENTAL HEALTH AND QUARANTINE
Something that is coming up often during quarantine is mental health. This applies to all ages, as our lives have been completely turned upside down. There are uncertainties around every corner. Our youth are feeling the effects tenfold, in some cases. Besides learning, school provides a social outlet for them during a pivotal time in their lives. Clubs, sports, and gatherings have come to a halt. Their need for interaction, however, hasn’t. As a result, our young people across the globe are dealing with isolation, depression, and uncertainties due to lack of human interaction. These are things that may be entirely new to them, and the mental health component is concerning. So, how does social media play a positive role?
THE POSITIVE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can be associated with bullying and negative consequences for our youth. It can also do a lot of good. Especially now! Studies are finding that our teens and young people are used to spending more time than adults socializing via social media. When things shut down, they turned to social media to connect before adults did. By making TikTok videos with friends and creating challenges for each other via social media platforms, our young people are forging their way through quarantine. In a USA Today article, one student said that social media has been a blessing for her during the pandemic and shutdown. She said since people have been forced to stay home and slow down, she has been in touch with more friends than before the pandemic. Students have also remarked that they are getting to know their friends better. This makes them happy, With the absence of extra-curricular activities, kids have the time to talk. They want to feel good during this stressful time. As a result? They are using the power of social media to deepen existing relationships. Also, they have reported that social media has also helped them develop new meaningful friendships.
Something else that quarantine has taught our kids? Patience. Quarantine has taught them that things are sometimes out of their control. What can they control? Being patient. And- their social media interactions. Making fun videos and chatting in new visual group chat features have reportedly boosted our youth’s spirits. They are able to focus on fun, care-free things. This helps take their minds off of the things that they cannot control. Namely- the pandemic.
APPS ARE THANKFUL, TOO
Besides giving kids some fun, interactive things to keep them connected, apps are also thankful for the new usage! Apps are seeing an influx of new young users due to quarantine. They are adjusting accordingly. How so? Developers are watching trends, and adding new features and apps accordingly. As per Adweek.com, Facebook’s Messenger Kids saw a 574% increase in downloads during February and March! YouTube Kids has also seen an uptick, as have many others.
These are challenging times for us all. Social media has had a complicated relationship throughout the years with the kids of the world. During a time of heavy news, it is promising to see how kids are being kinder to one another online. And – connecting – for the better.