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Psychological impacts of virtual learning

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It still is hard to believe how our lives took such a dynamic turn. 31st December 2019, the day the Coronavirus officially hijacked our lives. Do you remember what your life was like before the pandemic? You have to think hard, don’t you? A wave of changes took over our lives and since then we are trying to survive in this unpredictable current. One of those changes is virtual learning.

This is not a new concept for us, but still, here I am writing about this. No one thought that one day, virtual schooling would take over real school experience, but that’s life (let’s leave it at that).

Do you remember the time when your professor didn’t ask you to open your cameras? I bet you do. Who would’ve thought you’d be video calling your teacher five times a week. Anyway, just like the saying goes, “a coin has two sides” and so does virtual learning. On the one hand, where virtual learning saved our lives and time, we did lose some things too. Let’s look at those before it’s too late.

Personality Types

Personality is one of the major things that constitute our very foundation. It is nothing but the differences in the way you think, feel, and behave. It is also, the thing that decides how many humans dislike you (a not-so-laughable joke). Now, let’s look at how virtual learning affects the most basic 2 personality types by Carl Jung:

Note: the traditional and not so open-minded characteristics are taken over here as a base because this is a very subjective concept divided into subcategories. So, I request you, the reader, to not take anything personally.

a] Introverts

Introverts are those who have a personality type called introversion. These are humans who are more comfortable around selective people, who may seem shy at first but are not. They prefer select individuals compared to larger groups, texts compared to calls, the stay-at-home types over party-people types. Or as Jung said, those who turn to their minds to recharge.

For people who are introverts, COVID poses as a magic wand. Virtual learning was just the option they would have chosen over real classes. It helped them minimize human contact, small talks in the hallways, teachers making them complete work in groups, and students sitting beside them during lunch because they seemed lonely when in reality loneliness was just peace for them.

If you’re an introvert, am I correct? Did this sound familiar? Were you smiling while reading this? Just one more question. Don’t you think that it’s time to adopt a different perspective towards virtual learning? Isn’t your current perspective making you too comfortable in your comfort zone? Self-reflecting is a key trait of introversion; it’s time to engage in that. Also, a quick reminder: you’ll be in social situations again someday.

b] Extroverts

Extroverts are those who have a personality type called extroversion. Humans who are people-person, prefer calls over texts (or at least don’t avoid calls), enjoy group tasks, and being alone mostly makes them feel isolated. Or as Jung said, those who seek other people for a recharge.

COVID posed a challenge for all the extroverts out there. For them, it was nothing but being trapped at home. Virtual learning just made them yearn for actual human contact. It also may have increased their vulnerability to anxiety or depression.

No matter what personality type you are, it’s hard for both introverts and extroverts. Just try to modify your perspectives a bit (and let the writer know if that helps).

Anxiety and Stress

When there’s virtual learning involved, glitches and technical issues are the uninvited guests. Did your wifi ever break up with you in the middle of an exam? I’m guessing that situation wasn’t pleasant. This invoked a whole other level of stress in students.

How many times have you avoided turning on your microphone and camera?  For some people, the statement ‘turn on your cameras’ worked as a stimulus for anxiety. Things and opinions which were easy to convey in real-life classes just transformed into a mission of GTA (video game) in virtual classes.

Concentration in Lying

Isn’t it a little easy to fall asleep while attending a lecture? C’mon, be honest! Virtual learning just made it easier for us students to take a break; even in an ongoing lecture. The degree of concentration and focus is now friends with lies. This is the perfect example of why every parent says, “choose your company carefully.”

Faith in Google

As I mentioned earlier as well, virtual learning makes deceiving easier, quicker, handy, and comfortable. I bet the frequent users of Google have taken a hike now. Students got a new cheating partner. This is something that is self-explanatory, so I think you need to think now.

Conclusion

The word ‘change’ is a definition in itself, and virtual learning is a major change. So, take your time and don’t let this new normal affect you drastically.   

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