Questions for “Social distancing for teens shouldn’t mean giving up your social life”

a teen girl with long curly hair waves at her computer screen while chatting online

Staying connected with friends over video chat and other media can make physical isolation during the pandemic and other situations less lonely and stressful, new data show.

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To accompany “Social distancing for teens shouldn’t mean giving up your social life


Before Reading:

1. How has the way you socialize with family outside your household changed since the coronavirus pandemic first emerged? How has socializing with friends changed?

2. What does social distancing mean to you? Which of your former activities, hobbies and/or types of entertainment have changed in type or how often you partake since the pandemic hit? How have they changed, and are those changes something you see as better, worse or neither — just different?

During Reading

1.  The story mentions that people are social animals. What did the writer mean by that?

2.  In what four ways has 2020 social distancing in Sydney, Australia, affected teens, according to the study by Sithum Munasinghe and Andrew Page?

3.  What is depression and why are teens particularly susceptible to it?

4.  In the study by Scott Graupensperger and his colleagues, which athletes coped best with school shutdowns?

5.  What did the 2019 study by Eva Oberle’s team uncover about the role of extracurricular or other group activities in teens?

6.  What did their 2020 study show about the impact of screen use by teens?

7.  Why do the researchers think girls may not have fared as well with heavy screen use as boys?

8.  Why does Ann Murphy think that the term “social distancing” is misleading?

9.  What does Murphy recommend about confiding in friends about your problems during periods of physical isolation?

After Reading:

1.  The new study by Scott Graupensperger’s team is titled “Social (un)distancing.” Why do you think the researchers titled their paper this way? What’s the point they were trying to make? And do you agree with them on that? Explain your reasoning.

2.  Go back to the very first question, above. Based on what you’ve read, would you make any differences in the way you socialize with family outside your household? With friends? Explain your decisions.

3.  Not everyone has easy access to a strong internet connection. What would you recommend for them in how to stay socially connected with people outside their home?