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Mom and Dad: Cut teens some slack on screen time right now | READER COMMENTARY

This photo shows high school seniors who attended a virtual prom via Zoom on April 16 hosted by the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition. With the Class of 2020 missing out on so many traditions due to the coronavirus pandemic, many have gone online to participate in virtual proms. (Baton Rouge Youth Coalition via AP)
This photo shows high school seniors who attended a virtual prom via Zoom on April 16 hosted by the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition. With the Class of 2020 missing out on so many traditions due to the coronavirus pandemic, many have gone online to participate in virtual proms. (Baton Rouge Youth Coalition via AP) (AP)

Normally, parents want to limit their teen’s screen time. In some ways this is good. Social media can negatively affect mental health. But now it is critical that teens be allowed to use their screens. As a 10th grader, I can tell you that most high schoolers aren’t working, and most of us are self-sufficient enough to do online schooling by ourselves. Despite that, this time is still hard on us (“Isolation, boredom of staying home can be harmful in their own way, doctors say,” April 27).

Since the closure of schools, we have had time to figure out how to stay connected with one another. The easiest way is through social media apps like Instagram and Tik Tok, by posting pictures and videos and sending each other messages and memes. These spaces have become crucial for creativity and building community. Other ways for high schoolers to interact is online through websites or online gaming. Since we can’t physically be together, we can be virtually together through an online video game.

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Online school, once it got up and running, has been a mixed bag. Not every class can easily be carried over to an online platform. Many of us have to pass tests like the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program in order to graduate and so far we haven’t heard how those tests will be handled. All of this has had an impact on us emotionally, physically and socially. We are worried about our family, our friends and our futures.

In the grand scheme of things not being able to hangout with friends or attend sports games, club meets and graduation might not seem like a big deal, but those things made up our entire world and have now come to a screeching halt. So please be understanding as we spend more time looking at our phones and laptops.

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Emma Shepard, Silver Spring

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