We benefit from interacting with others. “Social support and social interaction are one of the most important factors in predicting the physical health and well-being of everyone, ranging from childhood through older adults.” Social interaction can happen both online and offline. In my experience, a healthy mix of online and offline interactions is ideal.
Importance of Mixing Online and In-Person Interactions and Activities
In an article discussing the importance of face-to-face communication in the “Digital Age,” Devin Barricklow says, “There are some cases in which it makes more sense—and will ultimately be more beneficial to you—to talk to someone in person as opposed to via email, text, or online chatting.” Not everything can be communicated over text, including your tone, facial expressions, and body language.
In addition to the benefits of communicating in-person versus online, there are benefits of participating in activities “in-person.” Physical exercise, building stronger connections with others, and experiencing new things that aren’t possible or available online are all benefits of getting active outside of a phone or computer screen.
How After School Mixes the Online with IRL
After School is a social network that is a platform for online communities. To make a greater impact online and offline, After School has created features and formed partnerships with other companies and organizations. Ways that After School mixes online efforts with those IRL (in real life) include:
Would You is a unique feature that allows After School users to ask their classmates if they would participate in an activity with them. From high-fives to watching a movie to volunteering, Would You has facilitated billions of in-person actions.
The feature asks questions about an in-person or online activity, and if two (or more) agree to participate in that activity together, those who said yes will all be notified.
After School is the largest online referrer to DoSomething.org, a nonprofit organization that has empowered over 6 million young people to participate in social change campaigns. Teaming up with DoSomething.org, After School has led over 100,000 teens to help others in their communities, from posting positive messages on sticky notes in their school to registering to vote to learning how to better take care of the environment.
After school also hosts in-person events, including the Social Media Safety in Schools event.
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