Grayson Salomon '22
How are you? It’s this one question that’s been ringing in my head endlessly since the beginning of distance learning. Yes, this question is the common courtesy that we’ve all been accustomed to in our society, yet the more and more it’s asked, the more the question loses meaning.
Throughout this year, the common pattern I’ve been noticing in people, including myself, is a lack of motivation. Mental health has been the main subject matter of 2020 due to COVID, yet I don’t see that it’s coming across as well as I personally hope it would.
This lack of motivation is one of the reasons why there’s a shiftless atmosphere when communicating with each other virtually. I may be a hypocrite when I say this, but it appears like people aren’t willing to make an effort to talk to someone.
Even when you reach out, there’s always the chance to be left hanging with no reply. It’s discouraging, I’ll admit, and creates more hesitation to send a message, but how else can we break the ice during this point in time?
Getting work done seems to be the only reason that drives people to reach out to someone else, but that’s the only thing they’d typically want from you, to ask, “What did you get for number five? When’s our thing due? Could you share with me your notes?”
For teens working mainly at home, our interactions throughout the day are made through a screen, with the help of programming and old-fashioned etiquette. The pandemic has caused our messages to be the first impressions we make of ourselves to the new people we’re meeting. Word choice and delivery are always taken into consideration when drafting a message to anybody, right?
Emails and texts are just a few of our many forms of communication at our fingertips, and while this is a luxury we should be appreciative of, not many take advantage of them. Breakout groups are also a chance for people to socialize while staying on task, but it’s funny to think that the silence on zoom is the loudest thing you’d hear.
Teachers have definitely witnessed these moments and do their best to compensate, but it’s a team effort. There’s only so much one person can do before you need to rely on others to do their part. The issue of accountability is apparent now more than ever, and yet, how can we achieve teamwork when others aren’t meeting us halfway?
That’s the beauty of being in person. When you’re in the presence of others, you don’t have to wait for a possible reply back when they need to face you right then and there.
Maybe it’s this lack of motivation that’s been affecting everyone. Maybe people are exhausted by how life is right now. Maybe people just don’t care anymore. I guess the year has changed me to the point that one message from someone can drastically change my mood for the entire day, so much so that it’s either for better or for worse.
A friend reached out to me last summer. I related to her on so many levels regarding school, people, and life in general. She’s strong in the sense that she doesn’t need to rely on anyone, but she’s also seeking friendship in the people she’s meeting on zoom. Like my case, she assists the people that ask for her help, but once she needs their help in return, they’re nowhere to be found. See, it’s not something you can train someone to do, nor is it something that we’re in control of. It’s just the reality of communicating during a pandemic.