Lifestyle “I” before “we”, except during COVID-19

“I” before “we”, except during COVID-19

The self-absorbed language of children has been turned on its head during the pandemic, according to new analysis from Flinders University.

Literacy expert Anne Bayetto examined more than 20,000 stories written by Australian kids as part of the Storyathon initiative, finding a startling shift to a collective worldview.

“We” was the most frequently used word, with others like “family”, “friends” and “everyone” significantly increasing on previous years.

Students were asked to write on the topic ‘A different world – living in lockdown’. And while there were many references to troubling news and anxiety, children also reflected on the joy in spending more quality time with their families.

The results are part of an ongoing study into the changing written and spoken language of young Australians.

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