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kids research Forecasting A Return To Face-To-Face

Liz Dibley, Senior Analyst

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, restrictions have been in place for many of our youth’s formerly in-person activities and events. Some, like sports, were canceled altogether, and others pivoted to video meetings for clubs or award ceremonies. Now our youth are raring to return to face-to-face interactions. As Zoom fatigue rages on in the adult world, youth are also tired from endless video chats in which users are expected to pay close attention, strain their eyes, and constantly watch and regulate themselves using a tiny mirror image. 

child research covidIn addition, all the sitting in front of a computer means less movement, which isn’t great for anyone’s physical or mental health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State of Childhood Obesity report details how obesity rates for children in the United States have been rising for decades. Exacerbated by remote learning, children in 2020 experienced a decline in physical activity. Currently, 15.5% of youth 10-17 years old meet the criteria for obesity.

Mostly, youth miss the social component of spending time with others their age. In our February 2021 Say What? Video Journals, we asked YouthBeat® panelists to tell us about what canceled activities and events they miss the most and what they’re looking forward to participating in once in-person activities and events return. Unsurprisingly, many young people miss hanging out with their friends, especially between classes and during lunch breaks at school. Clubs, sports, and school dances are some experiences kids, tweens, and teens are looking forward to as soon as these social events are back on the schedule (and with schools gradually reopening, the time horizon is encouraging). Youth are even eager to return to visiting public spaces like playgrounds and grocery stores. Watch the video below to hear what our panelists have to say in their own words.

Every month at YouthBeat®, our Say What? Video Journals capture live, in-the-moment reflections on intriguing questions relevant today—no need to wait for the next wave of tracking data. Want to learn more? Reach out to us and let our YouthBeat® team assist your brand!

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