Technology helps students overcome social distancing


Photo by Abbie Goldstein '22

The application Zoom allows many people to video chat at once and is a great way to stay in touch with friends. Many students have been using this and find it effective.

The coronavirus has closed businesses, schools and recreational locations nationwide, severing human connection as a result. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is critical to maintain six feet of distance from others in order to slow the spread of the virus. This presents many challenges for teenagers, for they can no longer see their friends in person. Due to this societal change, many have turned to technology in order to stay in touch.

From video games to FaceTime, online platforms have helped maintain many friendships.

“It is so lucky that we have these programs available for our use,” Romy Nusbaum ’22 said. “It would be so hard for me to talk to my friends without them.”

It is so lucky that we have these programs available for our use. It would be so hard for me to talk to my friends without them.

— Romy Nusbaum '22

One specific application many students have used is Zoom. Zoom is a remote conferencing service that kids use to talk to many of their friends at one time. Some of its features include the option to change your name, upload an image as a background and view everyone at one time. 

“I have used Zoom so many times and I definitely will use it again,” Caitlin Chu ’23 said. “It makes it feel like we are all physically together.”

Another way students are socializing is through the use of a Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party. Coronavirus has made it impossible to watch movies at friends’ houses, and Netflix Party offers a solution to that. This extension synchronizes the video playback and has a group chat, allowing everyone to watch the film together.

“Netflix Party allows all of my friends to hang out as if we were having a real movie night,” Piper Cohen ’22 said.

In addition to utilizing technology, some Staples’ students have discovered ways to see friends while respecting the CDC’s social distancing guidelines. Many teenagers have formed circles with their cars, staying a reasonable distance from each other. 

“I like doing this because I get to see my friends and get out of my house but still be able to keep a safe distance from others,” Issy Gryspeerdt ’21 said. “It is something I look forward to.”