I spoke with a teenager this week who learned during the pandemic that he is “situationally funny,” by which he means that he’s more at ease in the side conversation and one-off remark than he is as the center of a group’s attention. Covid showed him that, because, in Zoom school, his conversational lane was closed.
So he opened that lane for himself with one-on-one phone and video calls with his friends. When the weather got nice enough, he and two peers made a habit of meeting up in a neighborhood park to talk about “whatever they want.” He formed a daily routine of playing with his neighbor’s new puppy after school.
Teenagers like this one have some things to teach adults about how to leverage technology to strengthen relationships, as well as how to sustain friendships the old fashioned way. I’m listening.