Staying Connected Through the Distance

How do you beat the self-quarantine slump?

Sophie Brown
The results of a survey of 66 EBHS students. Responses in the “other” category include lack of friends, visiting neighbors, and measures that do not practice social distancing.

While it’s easy to fill the time with many long naps and Netflix binges (and justifying it by maintaining that you’re making up for lost time), it’s just as important to stay connected with the people you’re missing face-to-face connection with. Feeling isolated without the structure of a traditional school day is a common, but not unavoidable, consequence of quarantine. To gauge how people are coping with the new reality, we took a poll of 66 EBHS students and asked them: what’s the best way to stay connected with friends?

Less than 7.6% percent of students surveyed claim they don’t have anyone to talk to, but for the other 92.4% of students, technology is critical in preserving their sanity and friendships. “Without my phone, I think I’d go insane,” says senior Kaavya Meegada, who is one of approximately 12% of students who primarily text to connect with their friends on platforms including Snapchat, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger. “I think the outpour of positivity and support on social media has helped grow solidarity against the virus. The more people practicing social distancing, the less time we’ll have to be apart.”

Senior Dennis Zhang agrees, but like over half of the respondents, prefers video calling over texting. “I’m a really bad texter, so it’s so much easier to call. And also just reassuring to be online with my friends, even when we’re doing our own thing.”

A small but significant portion of students think that games are the best way to connect. It might seem relatively impersonal, but for about 9% of students, games are a way to bring out competitive spirit and conversation. “I will ONLY play iMessage Crazy 8,” says senior Lucy Milligan, who is serious when it comes to the virtual Uno knockoff on GamePigeon.

Senior Leewon Park is more excited about the party video game Jackbox, which allows multiple people to connect their phones and play online. “I’m finally able to put my $30 Party Pack to good use. It’s such a blessing. I could literally play Fibbage all day.”

Others, like senior Sagnik Chowdhury, have resorted to different, perhaps more desperate measures to stay in touch. “I saw this TikTok, and a bunch of friends drove somewhere just to sit in their cars and look at each other. We’re all in our protective metal bubbles… just six feet apart,” he says. Although this isn’t exactly staying at home, 18% of students agree with him.

More than ever, it’s important to stay in touch with friends, neighbors, and family. Students are coming up with creative ways to do just that, even while they’re stuck at home—just remember to stay safe in the process.