Teens and screens: will Covid tip the balance toward real-world socializing?

The Teen Librarian Toolbox at School Library Journal is a professional development website for teen librarians, and as part of the launch for Friend Me they asked me to write a guest blog. Thank you, TLT! If you haven’t read the book, it was sparked partly by a comment one day from my then 13-year-old, who mentioned that it was his best friend’s birthday.

When I urged my son to phone the boy for a chat, he looked at me like I was suggesting something unnatural. That got me thinking : it would be totally possible for a young person to strike up a friendship with someone by phone even if they never met in real life. In Friend Me, those fictional friends are Roisin and Haley.

What has surprised me, however, is how young people’s default preference for screens may be changing completely due to Covid and lockdowns. Our own teens quickly grew tired of their phones and hungered for real-world meet ups as social distancing requirements stretched over weeks and months, and into 2021.

Read the full blog article here from TLT: Bullies, best friends and phones: Will Covid shift the balance toward real-world socializing? And thank you again to Amanda MacGregor and the whole TLT team!

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