Sit with Us app does more harm than good


Cartoon by Jenny Lu

By Jenny Lu

Not having someone to sit with during lunch is an issue that has plagued generations of high school students. To avoid the awkwardness of braving the hallways or cafeteria alone, students may opt to stall in the bathrooms or sit in the media center.

For these students, 16-year-old Natalie Hampton from Sherman Oaks, California, created an app called “Sit With Us” to help find people to sit with during lunch, according to NPR. Whitman administrators are now encouraging students to download the app after seeing its implementation at Richard Montgomery High School, SGA member Ellie Block said.

While the idea behind the app is noble, the app itself isn’t an effective way to communicate with others, primarily because few students have downloaded it. Even if there are students that want to meet others to sit with during lunch, the lack of people using the app dissuades them from using it.

Apps like Sit With Us serve to stigmatize sitting alone, harming introverted students more than they help. We shouldn’t automatically assume that students sitting alone want to be sitting with others. Although the app isn’t mandatory, it can cause feelings of embarrassment of sitting alone or make teens to feel like they are some sort of pet project. Sometimes students have work to do or don’t feel like talking with others. Other students have places to be other than the cafeteria, such as Vike-to-Vike peer tutoring, the media center or the CIC.

Because many students have known each other since their days in Pyle, they don’t feel the need to download the app. Many students don’t understand the concept and aren’t willing to participate, Block said.

Instead, students looking for new friends or peers to sit with should be encouraged to participate in existing clubs like Lunch Links, which already has a system where the administration notifies the club when a new student transfers to Whitman and arranges for people to sit with the new student. This system helps two people find a friend at the same time.

Moreover, the Sit With Us app is only offered for Apple devices, excluding students with Android phones. Administrators shouldn’t promote an application that isn’t universally available.

With technology constantly at our disposal, administrators may feel the need to incorporate the internet into every aspect of school life. Butin this case, finding people to sit with during lunch doesn’t need to involve cell phones.