Social Media During Social Distancing


Junior Eileen McConville using social media while at home to remain connected with friends.

As the coronavirus continues to hold the country in a state of lockdown, many students have turned to social media as a source of entertainment and a way to stay connected. The results of this increased time spent on apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat are varied.

Junior Rose Zaramba feels that while it helps keep her connected with friends during social distancing, spending so much time on social media has already had a negative effect on her mental health.

“It’s really hard because I feel like quarantine has made me sort of unmotivated but then I see all these super perfect people on social media and it’s easy to get insecure,” shared Zaremba.

Kate Cosgrove, who before stay-at-home orders had swimming every day after school and a busy schedule, also turns to social media to cure her newfound boredom.

“I’ve been trying my best to stay productive and do things off screens like working out and spending time with family but I just have so much time where I have nothing to do,” Cosgrove shared. “I just feel like I have nothing better to do than go on social media apps and it just makes me feel so unmotivated and tired.”

Counselor Julie Ritter describes both the negative and positive effects of social media use in students.

“I think some students compare themselves to others far too much on social media, enhancing normal insecurities,” shared Ritter. “But it can certainly be a fun way to relax and a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and to document important events.”

Cosgrove also shares that the lack of social interaction with friends makes social media seem like a necessity.

“It’s one of the few ways I can actually see my friends faces and hear their voices,” explained Cosgrove. “So even though going on social media so much can make me sort of insecure and just kind of lazy, I almost need it to be able to connect with my friends.”

Ritter acknowledges concerns that social media, while helpful to stay connected, can become something people rely too heavily on.

“I know for me it’s been a great way to stay in touch with family and friends who live out of state and I’m grateful for it, but as a cure for boredom, I worry that it could become addictive for some,” explained Ritter.