Know Your Neighbors: Fighting Social Isolation This Week


Ananya Mehta

Social isolation is a demanding issue that has been plaguing the halls of our schools. We need to break away from our lives in the virtual reality crafted by technology and interact with those around us.

It happens to everyone. We sit in our classes for months on end, headphones in, phones out in hand, and our eyes unyieldingly focused on the work before us. In our focused (potentially distracted) state of mind, we often forget to value the presence of those around us. Humans are still basic organisms who rely on interaction within their own species to survive. By living in the virtual reality provided by technology, we are prone to forget the actual reality we live in. The conflict between the two realities leaves people caught in a web of internal conflicts, which could result in depression or a crippling sense of isolation. This week I witnessed a student in one of my classes turn around in shock at a girl seated at the table behind her, saying “I never knew you were in this class! ”. It was in that moment I reflected on how often we forget to communicate and interact with those around us. So this week to combat social isolation, I chose to make it a point to introduce myself to the nameless faces in the corners of all of my classrooms and interact with them.
Longhorns, it is imperative to make the little changes in our lives to interact with those around us. Social isolation is an increasingly common issue that often slips unnoticed by the masses. Our ignorance regarding this issue could lead to the depression of our fellow peers. Even though it may seem irrelevant and unnecessary, someone’s whole perspective on life and it’s daily struggles could be beneficially altered from even the smallest amounts of communication.