Student Social Media Activity After Quarantine


Social media illustration

Courtesy of pixabay free images

Mia Helfrich, Opinion editor

Last year students were stuck inside, and, longing for a way to stay connected and entertained, many immersed themselves to various social media platforms. Post-quarantine, students have regained the majority of their former freedoms, such as returning to pre-quarantine habits of media consumption. However the effects from so many long hours inside caused many students to remain consistent with their increased social media activity after quarantine.


The spike in social media usage was drastic and predictable. A Harris Poll, conducted in May 2020, revealed a  51% increase in social media engagement in ages 18 and up.

Among our generation, according to Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in November, 2020, about 63% of teens became more active on social media.


The rise was undoubtedly caused by quarantine restrictions, which barred the majority of people from meeting friends and family, and participating in in-person activities. Social media allows users to instantly connect with friends and family, and provides endless entertainment with livestreams, videos, and memes. This led to a wave of people relying on social media to fill the need for entertainment and socialization.


Students at ERHS have experienced a similar phenomenon. “Over quarantine, I’ve been watching a lot of TikTok and YouTube videos,” recalls junior Eunice Lin. “The only thing you could do is to, basically, go onto social media – and that’s how you would pass the time.” 

According to Lin, boredom was a major factor in her increase in activity, noting that “there was nothing to do over quarantine.” 


She explains that it became “one of [her] habits” to watch Tik-Tok whenever she had free time. This habit carried into post-quarantine life, and thus increased her level of social media activity than before quarantine. 


Alternatively, some students find that returning to normal life has reduced their desire for social media. A sophomore notes that social media gave her “a way to keep up with what other people were doing”, but this changed after quarantine.

“I’m definitely not on social media or watching something on TV as much,” she says, “my media habits are the same or even less than before quarantine.”