Social Media: Good or Bad?

Scott Johnson, Viewpoints Editior

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One doesn’t have to listen too closely in the classrooms to hear the rings of phone notifications from some of the many social media platforms: Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Students are constantly staring their phones, distracted and only caring about one thing- staying up to date with social topics.

Social media is a huge part of everyday life. While it is a way to connect with far away family members it also has the power to make people disconnect more than connect, make the users lose basic social skills, and hurt their career. It’s fun, but it is primarily a huge waste of time.

Teens spend about one-third of their day on social media. That is a huge amount of time considering the large amounts of homework, the early mornings, and the late nights that most students have on a typical day.

Many students love to use social media. It is convenient to use because you can connect with family members who live in different states and countries. Students can see where their peers have been and what they have experienced. It allows the users to show their lives to the world and get the opportunity to see how their favorite celebrities live their lives as well.

The school does try and block social media on the provided wifi, but students can get around this limitation by using a virtual private network (VPN) or by using cellular data.

Snapchat is one of the biggest uses of social media by teens. It is a way to talk and send pictures to people quickly and in real time. On this social media platform, there is a feature where people can see exactly where their friends are, and that is borderline stalkerish and creepy. Also, the ability to face-swap with someone is also a weird and may make people feel uncomfortable. Snapchat is a good app in concept, but in reality, it is a big waste of time and is definitely not worth having.

Twitter, another social media platform, is a place to connect with the world. It allows the user to send their thoughts about anything to everyone. It more often than not leads to many people getting upset and into online fights over the tweets. Millions of people use Twitter, and it has been proven to be a constant distraction in the class as every notification is sounded with a bird whistle from retweets and follow requests. This poses as a big distraction for many of the students. Twitter is a place where anyone can start an online fight with just 240 characters, and it may sometimes even lead to more.

On the other hand, Instagram is an app where the user shares pictures of their life with the goal of gaining lots of peoples likes and many followers. It is another way to connect with celebrities, friends, and family members. The location tag on pictures is a way for people to know where the other person took the picture. This concept can be dangerous as a predator can find their location. Instagram is an app that promotes showing off your life, but it can also be a distraction and a time waster.

Facebook is the oldest out of the four other social media platforms that have been mentioned. It started as a way to connect with people around the globe, but it has turned into a political war zone. With the recent election in 2016, Facebook turned into everyone having an opinion about almost everything and anything, which can be too much for some people sometimes. Facebook is a good place to connect, but it can be too overwhelming most of the time.

Most, if not all, nights have students cramming for activities they have the next day, whether it be for a test, a quiz, or a speech. Students have to study, but they spend a lot of that study time on social media looking at posts. The effects of that can really hurt performance at school and can lead to having less social skills in the real world.

While there are positives for the use of social media, the cons far outweigh the pros. The use of social media has made people far more distant in real life than they are online.

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