Now that schools have been closed for over a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that kids and parents alike are starting to go truly stir-crazy in quarantine together. While celebs are out there seemingly living their best mansion lives despite social distancing, the rest of us are struggling to get through day after day of work and school and yet more family time (how can there possibly be more family time??) without losing our minds. And perhaps no group is struggling more than The Teens.
After all, teens are a social species — more so than we parents whose party days are long gone, and certainly more so than young kids who are content to talk to their imaginary friends all day (shoutout to my 4-year-old). So how, exactly, is Gen Z faring in the time of coronavirus quarantine? After all, according to a recent SheKnows Hatch Labs study, teens were already spending 45 hours a week on their phones…pre-pandemic. Could it actually get much worse?
Answer: Why yes, it certainly can.
We surveyed about 500 parents from April 14-16, 2020, which for most of us is about one month into quarantine territory. And the findings are clear: Teens are struggling. Being stuck at home nonstop, with their families but without IRL contact with friends, is driving them up a wall. And who could blame them?
Nearly half of parents with teens ages 13-17 reported concerns about their kids being depressed, 69% of parents say their kids are spending more time on their devices (a few of the kids we spoke with in the video above mentioned at least 10 hours per day spent on their phones), and 80% of kids are missing out on their usual physical activity and sports.
But it’s not just the parents who are worried: We also interviewed the teens themselves about how #quarantinelife is going at home with their families. And between the homeschooling, isolation, increased screen time, decreased physical activity, struggles to connect with friends, general anxiety about the state of the pandemic, plus parents walking in half-naked on their school Zoom calls, these “QuaranTeens” have got some pretty big feelings. And with good reason.
Watch all their honest reactions — and cat costumes? — in the video above. And click here to learn more about why quarantine isolation can be so harmful to teens — and more importantly, how to help your quaranteen.
If a teen you know is struggling, text CRISIS to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor through Crisis Text Line. It’s free, 24/7 and confidential.