How to socialize (when socializing isn’t an option)

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Kaden Gass, Staff Writer

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Today’s topic: Is social media damaging to our personal relationships? My answer to that is no. In fact, I would argue that social media is helping our personal relationships ESPECIALLY during COVID times. 

I don’t know about you, but during this time, I haven’t seen anyone that I used to talk to! That’s part of being an upperclassman and moving into the HPs, yes, but it kinda sucks not knowing anyone anymore. What makes Linfield so great is 1. smiling at random people on the streets and making lovely connections, and 2. not getting hit with acorns by rude af squirrels.

I think back to my freshman year when I confided in juniors and seniors and a lot of them were my best friends, and it’s kind of a bummer for this class to miss out on that. And I think that’s why social media in this aspect makes it so great. 

The only reason I know any freshmen is because of Instagram, and even if I don’t know them personally I at least know of them. So many people dog social media saying “our generation had to rely on the wheel and maintain our crops before the locusts swarmed.” Like, okay Karen we get it, you have what? 50 followers?   

What I’m really trying to say is that these platforms are so much more powerful than we make them up to be. In a world of constant isolation and worry, it’s better to have a connection through an app than no connection at all! Taking off my Gen Z-liberal-gay-biased glasses, how many people use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Omegle, TikTok, Tinder, Youtube, etc to make the day go by just a little faster (and don’t lie to me because I know EVERYONE does it)?

These apps tie not only the Linfield community together, but the global community as well. It connects us even when we’re disconnected and that the beauty in it! Social media is an escape, a light at the end of the tunnel, that gives us hope of possibly one day leading the life that we want to live and getting out of this mess! And is that so bad? 

In my eyes, it’s a privilege to go on an app and forget about everything bad in the world and just let it go for 30 seconds. Yes, there are times when that is counterintuitive, but who doesn’t want a good laugh at the “OWA OWA” dog on TikTok, or just wishing your family members a happy birthday on Facebook? 

Think of it like this: we are all surrounded by a lot of darkness in the world right now, but social media is our flashlight, our way to signal to other people (even from a distance) that we can feel, hear, and still experience things even though we may be miles away.