The Collegian
Tuesday, June 06, 2023

A day in the life of social distancing: Video chat and social media

<p>Graphic by Nina Joss</p>

Graphic by Nina Joss

In a time when social distancing has become the new normal, I have observed that students are relying on social media to help stay in touch with friends. 

"It's very jarring to go from thinking you're going to see your friends in a week to not being sure you'll see them until January, so my friends and I try to do a lot of things online to keep in touch," sophomore Ava Holle said, referring to spending her fall 2020 semester abroad. "For example, we are planning a movie night using a Chrome extension so that we can all hang out and watch something at the same time like we used to in our dorm. 

"We also make sure to keep the group chat popping and to check up on how each other is doing as much as possible." 

Senior Holly Lundeen said she had noticed students were being much more active on social media.

"Especially Instagram stories and Snapchat, which has made it super easy to keep in touch with some people, more in touch than we normally are," Lundeen said. 

Many students are using the video conferencing app Zoom not just for classes but also to catch up with friends.

“I’ve been scheduling Zoom sessions and virtual happy hours with my friends," Lundeen said. "One of my friends even started a group chat to get a group to play games and trivia on Zoom."

Senior Reid Bryan said he had been using the app to video chat while playing video games like Quiplash. 

"My friends and I have also made collaborative Spotify playlists and have been sending show, podcast and movie recommendations," he said.

As anyone with an Instagram account could attest to, it has been hard to miss the different internet challenges that have taken up everyone's feed, such as the draw a carrot challenge, push-up challenge and 10 beautiful women positivity challenge. Personally, I think the words "until tomorrow" will forever give me terror flashbacks. 

With average phone screen times going up -- in my case, 110% -- students like us have found new ways on social media to fill quarantine boredom. 

This is the third installment of a three-part series to be published about social distancing.

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