Technology Helps Maintain Connection

Sarah Cain, Staff Writer, Wildcat Pause

With social distancing comes a decrease in contact with friends, family and loved ones. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, the government has asked citizens to social distance. This includes closing schools, restaurants and stores as well as encouraging all citizens to try to stay home. The decrease in the opportunity for “face-to-face interactions” has resulted in many people finding new, creative ways to socialize with others.

To keep up social interaction, people have turned to video chat applications such as FaceTime or Zoom. Senior Ray Colon has used FaceTime to stay connected with his friends. 

“FaceTime has been the best option to talk with everyone. Of course, it is not the same as having an in-person conversation, but this is also proving to almost be the new normal,” he said.

Some families have established new traditions using Zoom. Sophomore Christina Nicosia has a special time every week dedicated to interaction with family.

“Throughout quarantine, I have been calling friends and loved ones more than usual,” she said. “Every Friday night for a month straight, my family would have a happy hour over Zoom with our cousins. It created a sense of normalcy to talk to the family.”

Another way that people have stayed connected is through online games or video games. “Video games have been one of the best ways for me to stay connected with my friends,” freshman Michael Baran said. 

Mr. Edward Storck, an English teacher, plays games with his family over Zoom. “Zoom calls have been great to stay in touch with friends and have tons of laughs, especially Jackbox games like Quiplash,” he said. 

Some people have turned to social media as a way to stay connected not only with friends and family but with what is going on in the world around them.  Senior Brady Cummings said, “Social media has kept me informed about what is going on and what the pandemic is looking like. It also helps me feel connected to others.”

Without school, it can be difficult for students to stay in contact with their teachers for emotional and educational support. School traditionally provides an environment where students feel comfortable with their friends and have many adults that they can contact. However, Google Classroom has facilitated communication between students and teachers so that contact is almost instant. 

     Senior Honore Cavaco has had a positive experience with her ability to get in touch with teachers. “Staying in touch with my teachers was super simple through email, Google Meet, Google Classroom, and Remind,” she said. “We’re very lucky to have access to these platforms and have devices to do so.”

Adjusting to this “new normal” has been difficult for many. The decrease in human contact has become challenging as time progresses. Senior Ray Colon said the decrease in human contact has become challenging as time progresses.

“The biggest social challenge for me has been not being able to actually see my friends,” he said. “I feel everyone needs a sense of real human contact and without that, you start to feel lost.”

For some, quarantine and social distancing has strengthened the bond with the people they live with.  Since many are forced to work from home, they spend an increased amount of time with the people they live with. Mr. Storck has become closer to his roommate during this time. 

“I feel very fortunate to have a roommate, my best friend since high school, whose job has allowed her to work from home,” he said. “This pandemic has literally and figuratively brought us even closer.”