There was a time, not so long ago, when parents were very worried about the number of hours their children spent in front of their screens. A few months before the word ” confinement “ be officially pronounced, in March 2020, the release of the book The Factory of the digital jerk researcher Michel Desmurget had thus made a lot of noise. Since then, however, everything has changed, machines are everywhere. They have even become the meeting point for the youngest with their friends, under the indulgent eye of their parents.
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Alexandre, 15, testifies to this. “Since confinement, I see my friends on video. It’s very easy, there are no more appointments to be made. I send a link and those who are available join me. “ Video conferencing tools allow people to get together, the screen becomes the new playground. The virtual tribe of Alexander thus reunites ” twice a day “.
The limits of video
In her little band, there is Héloïse, who appreciates these meetings from home. “Sometimes, I am in my bed and I put a beach in the background”, says the teenager, who concedes that online exchanges are less spontaneous than in real life because her parents’ ears hang around. So no more bad words and childish arguments.
However, it is precisely because they do not allow people to really rub shoulders with others that these videos show their limits, warns psychiatrist Serge Tisseron. “These virtual dates can strengthen friendships when they bring two people together, but they are not suitable for groups of six or seven”, he believes. However, these are essential at this age.
Reunion in the great outdoors
Neither too big nor too small, the teenager learns to make his place and the proof of his otherness. “The problem is that on the screen, he does not really know if it is really him that we are talking to. He cannot really contradict either because there is a short reaction time before opening his microphone ”, still describes Serge Tisseron. What therefore sanitize the atmosphere.
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Certainly, in times of pandemic, everyone adapts, and the agility of adolescents on digital tools is, in some ways, convenient for parents. Knowing your child on video with his friends is more reassuring than wondering if he has put on his mask correctly before going out. Still, it would be good to remember that reunions in the great outdoors are irreplaceable. They are also an opportunity to prove one’s maturity by respecting barrier gestures.