Quarantine allows time for students to reflect on the meaning of friendship

Social media plays important role in maintaining key friendships during pandemic

Gavin Cardoza, Staff Writer

While many students have been cut off from seeing their friends on a daily basis for nearly a year now, some students admit the break from friendships has actually yielded a positive benefit: they now understand who their true friends are and what true friendship means. 

“I’ve lost a number of friendships due to the fact that we just stopped talking and that doesn’t really sit right with me,” junior Zakeriya Salon-Navarro said.  “So I’ve learned to value the small group of people I call my friends.” 

Without real life interactions, many students have lost a fair number of friendships they had kindled during their time at school.  Now, a year later, after having to stay away from everyone so long, many of those relationships have collapsed. 

“I’ve fallen off with a number of people simply because of the fact I can’t see them, and I guess we lost that connection that we used to have in school, in person,” junior Kiarrah Dixon said.  “I still try to text them here and there but I know the friendship is pretty much gone.”  

Social media has remained a popular way for students to keep up with friends; for some students, social media has been the primary form of communication they use with their friends during the pandemic. 

Social media has been crucial in maintaining friendships during quarantine, so I consider it affecting my friendships in a positive way,” Salon-Navarro said. 

While social media has been a savior for maintaining connection, it is also at the forefront of toxic friendships, especially among teenagers and students. 

“If everyone is happy, social media spreads the happiness; if things are bad, social media ignites the fire,” junior Gabrielle Barnum said. “When friendships end, social media is the go-to to make someone else’s life miserable, and I have had moments where people try to make my life miserable and my ‘toxic’ friends don’t make anything better.” 

Photo by Micaela Lopez

The toxicity of some students, however, is bigger than a platform like social media.  Now that students aren’t outside as often or see people every day, they say toxicity is easier to contain and doesn’t really have its poisoning effects that add negativity and anger in students’ lives. 

“I just stopped talking to a lot of people,” sophomore Nevaeh Young said.  “It’s easier to cut people off now that you don’t have to see them every day.”

Yet, this same idea of ignoring everyone has also resulted in the dissolutions of numerous friendships, toxic or not.  While many students have been able to remain in contact with people, it hasn’t been easy for everyone to do the same. 

“It’s harder to keep in touch if you’re really not trying and some people have things going on at home since you always have to be home now,” sophomore Kimberly Barajas said.  “It’s harder to check up on others when you’re dealing with your own things.”

 Even if not every single friendship could be maintained, many students say they have grown wiser and recognize now what kind of friendships are beneficial and better overall for themselves, ultimately realizing the true meaning of friendship.

“If they have been there with you, through everything; if they never give up on you even when you were ready to give up on yourself,” junior Kiarrah Dixon said of her newfound wisdom of friendship. “Sometimes it’s not even that deep, it’s honestly just someone who’s real, meaning they won’t fold on you, drag your name in the dirt and talk about you with other people. To me ‘true friend’ also means ‘real friend.’”

Contributors: Beautiful Armstrong, Amara Del Prato