Coronavirus update: trauma expected to affect young people
This comes in light of a recent survey by Recognized which found that more than half of 18-24 year olds have felt undervalued in the past 18 months, and more than 70 percent have felt lonely.
In the last 18 months we have been locked up three times and each time the young people have suffered mental shock to the point where “there has been trauma.” [and]… there is a level of ongoing chronic trauma that people don’t recognize. It is the chronic ‘non-fulfillment’ of basic human needs, ”Ms. Mathur said.
These basic human needs include meeting friends and having these daily social interactions.
These social interactions are even more important for young people because when you’re a teenager Anna says you are, “at a time when you learn who you are, you learn how, how you want to kind of communicate who you are. in this world “.
READ MORE: Covid-19: Young people found winter confinement more difficult
As a teenager, you not only experience dramatic physical changes, but you also change dramatically on a psychological level.
During this time, you learn social etiquette, you learn to communicate, who you love in a romantic sense: “It is the loss of stages of life and of choices and of relationships and of social learning,” said Mrs. Mathur.
You also start to travel, to become more independent, to go to parties, to go abroad for the first time.
And the lockdowns put a stop to that, because young people couldn’t go to school, couldn’t travel, couldn’t see their friends in person; the only way was to descend into the cavernous online world, into social media.
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Discussing the impact of social media and whether they have exacerbated the problem, Ms Mathur said, “I think social media is perhaps one of the most toxic tools of our generation. [It’s] like fast food, it gives us something right away, but in fact does it really feed us? Does it really give us what we need? “
This is, fundamentally, one of the key questions. Social media gives us dopamine hit after dopamine hit, short bursts of satisfaction.
It’s hard to break away from that and realize that real life satisfaction comes from those friends you don’t need a screen to see after nearly two years online.
The question then is, what consequences will all this screen time have on young people and how do they interact?
Mathur thinks that “the repercussions of this will be different for everyone. It will be there and we may not realize the real weight of it for a while because people are still in survival mode. “
Asked whether young people today will have a harder time forming longer and more meaningful friendships in the future, she said that it could be, “unless they consciously decide to get out of their comfort zone and start building social trust, which is very difficult to go through. a world that encourages you to be on your phone ”.
As creatures of habit, humans very easily settle into routines.
The worry is that because of this, when the pandemic is over, young people will no longer want to look up and see their friends again because they will feel like they have everything they need from the digital world.
While young people have never been so connected to each other, data shows us that, ironically, they have never been so alone.
Trying to help young people rehabilitate and step out of their comfort zone after the pandemic will be one of the great challenges for policymakers and social science researchers.
We’ll have to find a way to make sure that we don’t fall further down the slippery slope to the world of Egger.
A world that doesn’t seem so far away.