Socializing Safely: Important for Teens

Caitlin Wright, Design Editor

Although the recent COVID-19 school dismissal has caused students to somewhat isolate themselves, it is important to remain socially connected while remaining physically distant.

On March 13, 2020 at 4:24 p.m., Granite School District announced that a districtwide, two week dismissal was to take place. Ten days later, the district sent yet another announcement that at-home school was to continue through Friday, May 1st of this year. At a time when we are forced to stay a safe distance away from others, maintaining a good social life may prove to be difficult. But there are ways to keep in touch with others while staying physically distant, and it is extremely important to do so.

Jami Spencer, Science teacher, believes it is very important to stay socially active during this time while staying safe. Spencer says, “I absolutely think it’s important for everyone, not just students, to maintain their social life.” Spencer went on to talk about opportunities to talk to our friends and family through the technology we have today. “We say social distancing but really we should say physical distancing,” Spencer says, following with, “There is a lot of technology that students already use like snapchat and instagram. We also have all sorts of video technology like Skype. These are also good ways to help each other in virtual study groups.”

Lisa Tonge, Social Studies teacher, agrees that it is very important for students to stay social during this time. Tonge also thinks there are several ways students can stay in contact. Tonge says, “Socializing will have to be done remotely through Facetime, Skype, or other online social tools. Friends could even meet up and walk their pets together outside, as long as they are keeping a safe distance apart.” Tonge also acknowledged the fact that it is definitely a challenging time right now and that she worries about how certain students feel having to adapt to this dramatic change.

Stan Maeser, art teacher, disagrees on the fact that students should turn to social media to stay in touch. Maeser says, “To me, copious amounts of social media, twitter, instagram, etc do not really constitute as being social.” Mentioning some other ways to stay social, he said, “I think being around friends outside and at a distance would be awesome–in small amounts of course. Although, perhaps even that is too risky.”

Providing a student’s view on this, Prasamsa Bastola says, “ I think it is very important that kids keep in touch during this time.” Bastola also mentioned it is important that we do not feel alone during times like this.

Fellow student Annie Pinegar also agreed that it is important to maintain a good social life at this time, saying, “I think students should keep contact during this time because most kids receive their social time during school.” While Pinegar expressed her feelings about connecting with others, she stressed the importance of avoiding activities that increase the risk of infection. Pinegar said,“They should not meet up with people in person because that can aid the disease in spreading.”