Branch Out

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F

703-324-3100
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Christina Paladeau,
Editor, Branch Out

Department Resources


Related Resources


The Art of (Virtual) Connection

 

Smiling, Black teenage girl in a light purple t-shirt and jean shorts stands in front of a yellow background with headphones around her neck and holds a cell phone

The kids are alright in the digital age — and they can teach adults how to be, too.

Learn From Their Experience

Adults sometimes forget that they can learn a lot from teens — perhaps now more than ever. As our world becomes increasingly virtual out of necessity, many adults struggle to connect with one another.

Meanwhile, teens have the virtual connection thing down. According to Pew Research Center, 57% of teens have met a friend online, and nearly 30% of teens have met five or more of their friends online.

Tips from Teens

Learn how to stay socially engaged — digitally — with these tips on virtual connection, from teens to you.

  • Tip 1: Spend time engaging in online activities that encourage community. Think online gaming, taking part in a social media trend like an Instagram challenge, or finding a niche group with the same interests as you. Whatever you’re into, there’s somewhere you belong online.
  • Tip 2: Don’t underestimate the power of texting. You might feel the need to hop on every Zoom meeting, FaceTime call or Skype invite that comes your way, but sometimes a quick text does the job and allows you to keep in contact with friends on a regular basis despite everyone’s busy lives and packed virtual hangout schedule.
  • Tip 3: Be careful not to share too much information too soon. You can feel comfortable making meaningful connections online, but don’t spill your entire life story to someone you met on a message board last week. Nearly nine out of 10 of teens agree that people share too much personal information on social media.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant