Social Media: Time Saver or Consumer?
by Natalie Perlov on Monday, September 30th, 2013
It is simply indisputable that teens are hooked on social media. Social media has provided us with the means to share our thoughts with the world and document our lives through pictures and words, whenever and wherever.
Social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat, have become an integral part of this generation’s lives. With one click, swish, and hashtag, we can share pictures and thoughts with our peers all around the world. And while social media may provide us with joy and relaxation, how beneficial is social media in our lives today?
Although some may say that social media is useful during the week because it gives us access to academic assistance from peers, helps us unwind after a stressful day at school, and allows us to communicate with our friends, the use of social media sites during the school week is socially draining, distracting, and an overall waste of time.
I can’t count the amount of times I have logged into Facebook to see what seem to be hundreds of statuses regarding school-related events. Social media keeps us updated about what’s happening in our world, especially the events on campus. For example, if you were unaware about an event happening on campus, within three minutes of scrolling through feeds, you would know who is attending certain events, who is supporting whom, and whether an event was a success or not.
Although it is nice to be in the loop, social media sites are draining. Picture this: you log onto your Facebook or Instagram to see pictures of groups at pre-parties before dances. Your mood, regardless of what it was before you saw these photos, instantly drops because you realize that you weren’t invited. Or maybe there was a fun after-school activity that you wanted to attend but couldn’t. When you stumble upon the statuses and tweets about it, you feel that you have really missed out. Your mood and day are now successfully ruined, and perhaps your feelings are hurt. Without realizing it, a quick Facebook break between studying for your history test and drafting a thesis statement can completely change how you feel, derailing your emotions and ultimately distracting you from your original goal.
Milton puts a lot of pressure on its students. From an athletic standpoint, we have long, challenging practices and faraway games. Meanwhile, our academic classes are rigorous, piling up the homework day after day. These two components, sports and studies, keep us up late studying and preparing for the next day. Therefore, you would rightfully think that a quick check of your Snapchats or your Twitter feed would be a well-deserved break from all the pressures of school, right? In reality, these social media sites are a distraction, and a quick check on your newsfeed can turn into a burning necessity to find out more about that new couple on campus. Once your break is over, this new information remains implemented in your brain, distracting you from the more important matter at hand: your academics.
During my experience at Milton, I have found that there is rarely a moment during the week for free time. Between sports, arts, and academics, the typical Milton student is suppressed by work. Even if we use our frees wisely, we still find ourselves staying up late and not getting enough sleep because we are studying for a test or perfecting an outline for a paper.
Though we believe we’re helping ourselves unwind mentally by using social media sites, we’re not doing ourselves any favors. In some cases, we stress ourselves even more, thus detracting from the quality of our schoolwork and causing ourselves to stay up way later than necessary to complete schoolwork.
Social media should be used on the weekends when we do have free time and when it is the right time. If we all tried to cut down on our use of cellphones and computers for social purposes during the week, we would sleep more, improve our grades and athletic performance, and increase our overall happiness.
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