How social media addiction is destroying school performance

Juniors at SCHS engulfed in social media at lunch (photo by: Ava Sinacori)

By: Makena Viera |Writer

September 20, 2019

We’ve all been there. You’re bored and need to kill time in the car. You’re doing homework and get a notification. You want to check the time in class without actually reading the clock. You finally give in, telling yourself “it’ll only be one minute”. Scrolling through Instagram, watching Snapchat stories, and laughing at Tweets, that “minute” quickly turns into an hour.

Sadly, social media today has become more than just a global network. Although there are countless benefits, social media has not only turned into an addiction but an epidemic. This addiction, “worse than alcohol and drug abuse,” says BBC, is present in everyday life, even school. Students are prioritizing social media over school work, ultimately affecting their academic performance.

“I can see how people easily get distracted by their phones,” junior Emily Schad said. “Sometimes I spend more time checking a snapchat or watching YouTube videos rather than studying.”

Junior Katie Rogers scrolling through Instagram, taken by junior Ava Sinacori.

In general, the quality of homework has decreased. Instead of doing a thorough job or even completing it at all, students would rather use their free time to go on their phones. This later affects the students’ study habits, test scores, and overall school grades.

The simple act of mindlessly sitting in front of a screen, back hunched, scrolling through the life of others, disrupts one’s overall physical and mental health as well. Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest effects for teenagers. When your arm is propped on the desk to keep your head up, eyes drooping heavily, longing for a nap, it’s a bit hard to obtain information. 

Especially within the younger generation of girls, loss of self esteem and depression does not come as a surprise anymore. Constantly comparing themselves with an ideal “skinnier, prettier, richer” person they see online, it takes a toll on confidence. Also, with the capability to keep up with what friends are doing most of the time, social media instigates FOMO (the fear of missing out). With distracting, detrimental thoughts racing around, it’s hard to focus on school work or take a test to your maximum capability. 

Although social media is affecting the productivity and school work of many students, it does not directly affect everyone to the same degree. “I am concerned when I see how much time my kids are on social media, but once I check school loop all is well, so I don’t particularly see any direct correlation,” mother of two, Adrienne Hedger said. “I think it is more of an individual situation, each kid is different.” 

Social media surrounds our lives, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Even though some possess impressive qualities like checking a notification within seconds or commenting first on their friend’s post, it turns out that may not be the best approach to a successful academic performance. 

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