Social media helped teens stay sane during the state-mandated lockdown

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Photo by Donia Ali, Moore's mom

Ellie Haase, Business Manager/Social Media Team

This has no doubt been one the craziest years many of us have experienced. With schools being shut down in March, students worldwide were unsure of how to cope with the number of things they were missing out on and the uncertainty in the world. 

Sophomore at Loy Norrix, Lauren Kelley, said “I just made jokes about it [the pandemic] to cope.”

During the summer,  teen screen time reached an all-time high, as they were missing out on vacations, beach trips, sports, hanging out with friends, and much more.  Many kids were not sure what to do with so much extra free time. Some kids spent their time baking, working out, and finding new hobbies. But the majority of teenagers spent their time on social media. 

Kelley had a good balance between doing other things and social media. 

“My screen time went up about two hours compared to when we were still in school but when I wasn’t on my phone I was on a run or working out or watching netflix,” Kelley said.

Loy Norrix senior, Maya Moore’s dad, William Moore would tell Maya to get off her phone and read a couple times a week.  However, Kelley’s parents would yell at her to get off her phone to clean their house. 

According to Selim Algar from New York Post, in the article “Screen time for kids explodes during coronavirus crisis, study says,”Before the outbreak, only about 8.3 percent of kids spent six-plus hours in front of screens — and now that number has ballooned by roughly six times to 49 percent of kids spending six hours or more plugged in.” 

Many social media apps saw a high increase in engagement during the lockdown as people were trying to stay connected while maintaining their distance. 

Moore and Kelley said they saw their screen time become a lot higher during quarantine, especially on Netflix and TikTok.

When asked about the changes to her use of social media during the quarantine, Moore said, “I started focusing more on what people were posting due to the political changes.” 

Throughout the past couple months, Moore was using social media as one of many news sources to stay informed. 

Moore said she used TikTok the most during quarantine, and she is not alone.

According to “TikTok is approaching 2 billion installs and the download surge is partly down to coronavirus” by the Business Insider “TikTok was the most popular non-gaming app worldwide in February 2020.”

As school is starting back up, students might have a hard time adjusting to putting their phones away, especially with online school where teachers won’t be breathing down their necks about their phones.