For our generation, technology is second nature. We’re at least as comfortable gripping a laptop as a book, and thanks to auto-correct and iPhone calculators, our spelling and mental math skills have fallen by the wayside. The internet is where we seek information, entertainment and even connection. While older generations might not understand how we make friends or find love online, for many of us, virtual spaces form a real and robust world.
Since the start of the pandemic, the internet has enveloped an even greater portion of daily life, as classes, internships and relationships have all moved online. In a world gone remote, we’ve had to navigate a new balance between solid and digital spaces, asking tough questions along the way. Which social activities can shift to a virtual format and still build community? Will friendships formed online flourish into “real” relationships when quarantine ends?
In this week’s issue of Mirror, we uncover how the Class of 2024 is forming bonds despite restrictions on in-person activities. We check in with ’20s who recently unpacked belongings from their senior year rooms, in boxes that bridge the gap between pre-pandemic normalcy and today’s alienation. Saddened by the Hanover farmers’ market’s closing, we investigate how various farmers’ markets around the Upper Valley have modified operations to survive the pandemic. And finally, we profile a class on video games and the meaning of life, considering how video games offer insights about life beyond the screen. Along the way, we hope to come one step closer to understanding the world today, as it teeters precariously between virtual and tangible realities.