Kate Hedger | Head Editor
May 27, 2020
Social media is one of the most common addictions for our generation, but it’s an addiction that people don’t want to quit. A lot of people don’t see excessive social media use as a huge issue. We all know there are probably better things we can do with our time than scrolling on Instagram or clicking through Snapchat, but we don’t care to change.
“Social media is so addicting,” senior Emily Gillett said. “I’ll pick up my phone for one second to check the time and will end up spending the next two hours on TikTok without even realizing it. I feel like a lot of people don’t like to admit that they’re addicted to their phones, but almost everyone is.”
I would encourage anyone who would consider themselves even slightly addicted to social media to delete the apps from their phone over the summer. I’m not saying you should boycott social media all together (unless you want to of course), what I’m suggesting is that you delete the apps from your phone and go through Safari or another browser instead. For a lot of us, it’s autopilot to click on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. We don’t do it consciously.; our fingers just click and suddenly we’re there. By having to search up the website, it makes going on social media more conscious. There is an added step that forces you to think about if it’s really worth your time or not. By doing this, you can be more aware of how much time you spend on social media and how many times you use it a day.
There are a ton of problems connected to the excessive use of social media, one of which being screen time. The amount of time most teenagers spend on their phone is pretty upsetting. It might feel like you only spent an hour or two on social media a day, but for most of us it’s closer to six or seven. Screen time has a huge impact on the amount of sleep we get. The CDC recommends at least seven hours of sleep, but in reality, a lot of people spend more than seven hours on their phone and less than seven hours sleeping. By spending less time on social media you can spend more time doing things that are important to your health, like sleeping.
Social media is also linked to depressive tendencies and facilitates an environment where it is easy to compare yourself to others. Especially during the summer time, it is easy to look on social media and be left wishing you had a perfect body, a perfect tan, or were on the perfect vacation. Don’t waste your free time this summer wishing you had somebody else’s life. Instead, get rid of social media so you can feel more fulfilled with your life and begin to focus on things that make you happy.
“When I go on summer vacations I try to stay off my phone as much as possible,” senior Zoie Mayne said. “It’s so much more fun to live in the moment and enjoy what’s around me than to be on my phone and occupied with other people’s lives.”
There are so many other things you can do with the time you spend on social media. To name a few, you can read, create art, exercise, make music, bond with siblings and friends, write a story, try a new recipe, head down to the beach, or just jam out in your room.
It feels impossible to get rid of social media at first, but give it a try. You might be surprised by how much better your life becomes without it. Instead of finding validation through social media, find it from inside. This summer, spend your free time doing things that make you happy and finding things you’re passionate about.