My junior year of high school is not ending as expected but that does not mean I feel sad or even very isolated right now in quarantine. Interacting with my friends is always digital, even when we are together, so I don’t feel disconnected. I am spending hours in online school, on TikTok, Facetime and Snapchat but I am also exploring the larger digital world around me with the extra time on my hands.
Distractions from Quarantine are Important
Right now, I am looking for anything that distracts me. Seeing pictures of sunsets, bathing suits, and the beach provide a much needed distraction. I just bought a bunch of summer clothes today because of the inspiration! Anything summer-related helps to keep me positive and builds excitement for summer when I can hopefully be with my friends again. Most of my Google searches have a summer theme (sunsets, swimsuits, island vacations) and many of my favorite brands are using summer inspiration in their advertising. American Eagle, Triangl, PacSun and Kylie Jenner’s Instagram accounts provide great motivation for summer.
Influencers are Still Influencing
Even influencers have extra time on their hands and many of them have been trying out text message marketing. The hope that your favorite influencer or celebrity might text you back makes this a fun way to follow them. Social media celebrities like Addison Rae and Tana Mongeau are doing it, as well as mainstream celebrities like Amy Schumer. I got some personal responses from some of my favorite influencers which was exciting!
Brands should consider using text message marketing in this more personal way. Currently, the only texts that I get from my favorite brands are promotions and promo codes. I do like promo codes, but I use Honey when I shop so I rarely use a promo code that is texted to me.
Many influencers and celebrities have been promoting hashtags for staying at home and creating YouTube, Instagram and TikTok videos of their days in quarantine. Watching these videos makes me feel less isolated. I also like looking into the homes of some of my favorite celebrities. Before the Covid-19 crisis, they were always in exotic locations or staged rooms but now I get a glimpse into a “real” day in the life.
What am I buying during quarantine?
When I am making decisions on what to buy lately, I typically seek out the cutest, lowest price items. However, I recently learned that several of my favorite fast fashion brands produce chemicals that are hurting the environment. It’s easy to be tempted to buy from these companies. However, for my recent summer clothes purchase 50% of my money went to responsible brands and I know that will increase in the future. It’s important to me and my friends that brands are ethical, sustainable and make the world a better place.
When it comes to make-up and beauty products, I’ll buy whatever the beauty gurus are using in their videos and I have a messy, overstuffed vanity to prove it. Make-up and skincare provides a great escape during this time at home. I have bought a lot of make-up and skincare during quarantine.
Virtual College Visits
As a junior, this year is critical for my college search. With quarantine restrictions, in-person visits are impossible but luckily virtual college tours, information sessions and interviews are available. Southern schools with warm weather climates have been my favorite virtual experiences so far and these schools would have been challenging for me to visit in-person because of their distance from my home in the Northeast. Covid-19 forced universities to change how they market to potential students. With an endless list of schools now offering virtual events, my list of colleges is much larger than ever before.
Overall, this time in quarantine has given me more opportunities to stay connected and discover what is truly important. I think that it has changed me and I hope to leave quarantine focused more on the valuable relationships in my life and less on the superficial ones.
Sophia is a 17 year old high school senior and aspiring marketer. She is currently an intern and guest Gen Z blogger with the American Marketing Association NJ.