Technology and Its Effect During the Pandemic


Winifred Haastrup

Many students brought their pandemic phone habits to school and still spend a lot of time looking at their screen.

During the pandemic, many people relied on FaceTime or other apps like it, such as House Party, Discord, and WhatsApp. Schools went online so it was harder to communicate, students had to rely on their phones to talk to close friends and loved ones on apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok. Online activity on children’s devices “doubled in the early days of the pandemic.

Researchers have used data from social media, including Twitter or Reddit, to investigate communications in response to the pandemic. Concerns have grown for mental health in teens because of the time spent on technology. According to Regis College, “Technology played a life changing role in most teenagers’ lives during the pandemic; they started posting more and showing emotion in comments to distract them from reality causing an effect on their mental health.” Graeyer Takayama, a ninth grader, says she used TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. She says she got depressed because she was stuck at home and online school made it worse.

Teenagers in middle school going into high school were prevented from experiencing most teenage things such as parties and just talking to a friend face to face. Most teenagers would say the pandemic created depression and anxiety since they were isolated and had to rely on social media to check on friends or keep up with the newest trend. Recent studies showed that more than one-third of adolescents reported a high level of loneliness during the early stage of the pandemic, a significant risk factor for depression and anxiety

Brandy Howard, a ninth grader, says she used Facetime and texting with friends but with family her interaction was face-to-face or phone calls. According to ABC News, even before the pandemic teens spent an average of seven hours and 22 remaining minutes on the phone alone.

Teens also relied on movie apps including Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Disney+ for entertainment. Popular social media apps like TikTok had a new and weirder trend everyday such as the milk crate challenge and at-home challenges and new dances that advanced getting everyone staring at their screens.

Many people lost their social touch and when places started to open they didn’t know how to react to one another. Schools are open and restaurants are opening some with proof of vaccination. Most don’t require it any more due to cases dropping again. New York is more at ease again and the disinfectant in Target is stocked up and you do not have to stress and rush to pick up as many bottles as you can to protect yourself and loved ones which started to make people paranoid and scared to have in person connections with friends and family.