How are some students keeping in touch with each other?

Weston Liang

Staff Writer

     During these trying times of lockdown, we are all restricted within our households, only leaving to purchase essential items and conduct essential business only. Visiting friends is unfortunately one of the restricted activities. Because of this, students now must resort to forms of online communication. Sure, it may not be the same as face-to-face interaction, but during a time like this, anything can help.

     “I use Zoom for my teacher and primarily Discord for friends. Sometimes I’ll call them, but I don’t text that often and it’s usually school related when I do,” responded Vijay Boparai (11).

     When it comes to student-teacher communication, the Zoom app is probably the most frequently used app. However, that choice isn’t 100% agreed upon by all students. Internet memes have surfaced poking fun at teachers for using a program that most students have never heard of. Despite all of this, it may be wise for school matters to be dealt with via Zoom.

     “I don’t really like using [Zoom], but I guess it’s the best option for teachers. I wouldn’t want to see teachers using Discord, for example, because that will ruin my impression of Discord,” answered Mengting Chang (11).

     Chang’s answer is actually pretty surprising. One would assume that most students would appreciate it if their teachers used something more relatable, like Discord. One of Boparai’s teachers uses it. However, Chang’s reasoning is understandable to an extent. It’s generally agreed that your social life and your school life is to be separated from each other. When teachers begin to use the program you use for communication, it seems pretty invasive. At least that’s how some may think of it. Some other students may not have that much of a problem and some might be fine with the system as it is. 

     “I think Zoom is a very useful site to use as an alternative to attending school in person. Unless they find something other than Zoom that offers similar or better features, they should keep Zoom since it is easily accessible and easy to learn how to use,” suggested Yaminah Hasim (11).

     Something to note is that while Discord is very popular among many, it may not be as convenient for some. Zoom meetings do not require an account from everyone, but Discord calls do and they can only be hosted among people that have each other’s contacts. Zoom meetings can be entered with a simple link while Discord is unable to do that. Discord is definitely more suited to easy friend-to-friend communication, rather than to host entire classes. But of course, some teachers have managed to pull it off.

     But what makes communication so important? We’ve always been communicating before the lockdowns occurred. Why is communication now all of a sudden becoming such a topic, such as the “stronger together” hashtag?

     “Since quarantine, people have been isolated in their own homes seeing the same views everyday. This leads to a boring and monotonous lifestyle. In order to lift up the spirits of the students, they choose to talk with their friends every so often,” explained Hasim.

     Many people are starting to realize that they’ve been taking free face-to-face communication for granted. Now that the choice is restricted, people now put in communication with friends and family as a basic daily necessity. While there are some people that can stand extended periods of time with limited communication, some others require it constantly. Communicating with friends has essentially turned into a new pass-time hobby for some. Anything to break the now-monotonous life. 

     Because of this, we should all also try to be grateful that we have such technologies. If you were to go back far enough, it most likely would not be this easy. Imagine if this quarantine occurred during such a time of just landline telephones. Imagine how monotonous life would get.

     “I would probably be a slob [and] just not doing anything at all. I would try to read, but I don’t like rereading books so I would get bored and likely depressed, and just sit in my bed and not do anything,” explained Boparai.

     Even though not doing something may seem easier than doing something, in the long run, it will negatively affect your life. During these trying times, it’s now an even more appropriate time to get work done. If you have schoolwork, finish your schoolwork. Once you’re done with that, work on or find a new hobby. Remember, school is technically still going on.

     Hasim herself advises to “Be on top of your work for school but also take breaks whenever needed! Don’t burn yourself out when working and be sure to keep your mental health in check by talking to other people.”

“Communication is pretty important. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 9. Obviously no one is going to communicate 24/7, but communication allows for connections, and connecting with others inspires growth,” Answered Mengting Chang (11) on the importance of communication. Discord is generally considered to be the most popular form of online communication, alongside Messenger, phone-calls, and Skype.

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