Should You Stop Using Social Media?

Lifestyle

Have you ever felt pressured to get a social media account? Or have you been pressured to keep the one you already have?

For our generation, the internet has always been there. It's how we connect with people we know and it's also how we make new friends. However, this exposure to social media has its ups and downs. This article will cover the positives and negatives of being on social media as well as some actionable advice on what to do to mitigate the negative effects.

The positives of having a social media account:

      1. It's a way to communicate 

      2. Eye-catching filters Snapchat provides users with eye-catching filters and the ability to send short videos and pictures to your friends.

      3. Outreach

Social media is a way that a lot of my friends communicate with each other. Instagram can be used to wish people on their birthdays, post flattering pictures of yourself, or maybe just talk to your friend who lives far away

Snapchat provides users with eye-catching filters and the ability to send short videos and pictures to your friends.

Facebook is often considered to be catered towards the older generation. People use it to talk to their relatives and update family on how their life is going. When used properly, there are a lot of benefits. Even I have Facebook. It's the quintessential application for outreach. However, it doesn't really blow me away, and so I don't find myself reaching for this app. 

The negatives of having a social media account:

Now what about its downfalls?

     1. It's very addicting

     2. Lack of Privacy

     3. Unreasonable standards

The premise of Instagram is to be addicting, and so you often find yourself looking at people's posts. Eventually, you end wondering how you wasted 2 hours on the app. But why is Instagram making their interface so addicting? Do they get anything out of it? They do. Instagram takes money from various companies so that they can post their own advertisements. By being on the app for a longer period of time, you see more and more ads, which equates to more money for both Instagram and the private vendor. Regardless, you may end up spending more time on your phone than you would have liked. This time could have been spent with your family, friends, or doing homework. 

What about the whole Facebook scandal with users' privacy? Look at this article for more information: (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/mar/17/the-cambridge-analytica-scandal-changed-the-world-but-it-didnt-change-facebook). It really makes you wonder about where your information is really going. Still, I urge you not to delete your accounts completely. Their positive sides are something not to be overlooked. All I advise is that you only post things that you would be okay with everybody seeing. Be aware of social media and stay grounded. 

Moreover, Instagram has become a standard that a lot of teens hold themselves up to. It's common to see models and other famous people posting pictures constantly. This can lead to some issues with body-positivity. Instagram has created a standard of the perfect male or female, and it can be hard to accept yourself if you don't fit that expectation. It makes the idea of self love that much harder. 

David Amerland, a British author once said, "Social media is addictive precisely because it gives us something which the real world lacks: it gives us immediacy, direction, a sense of clarity and value as an individual.” Social media is the way that we get the attention that we crave. We love to be liked by others, and every like that our most recent post gets gives us a sense of accomplishment. This temporary feeling of confidence quickly fades and we're back to the real problem. Remember that you're worth is certainly not defined by the number of likes, shares, retweets, or comments that your content gets. Your worth is defined by YOU and only YOU.

What to do if You Don't Want to Delete Social Media

I'm certainly not trying to bash those who have social media. I'm also not trying to convince you to delete your accounts. If you have social media, feel free to keep on swiping. Having social media is completely different from being unable to distinguish the difference between reality and social media. To make sure that you don't fall into the grasps of Instagram, Snapchat, etc., I have compiled 5 tips to help you curb your internet addiction.

Tip #1: Set a time limit 

Observe the time that you spend on your phone each day. Make changes according to what you feel like is a healthy amount to you. Remember, physically interacting with other people is a lot better than interacting with your phone for hours a day. You'll have more time to notice things that you looked over in the past. You will become more observant and will hopefully appreciate all of the little things that life has to offer. Remember, each day is another 24 hours that you can use to improve yourself!

Tip #2: Love yourself!

Writing this makes me feel a little bit hypocritical. It can be hard to love yourself sometimes, but know that you are amazing, beautiful, and worth it! Don't hold yourself to a standard that somebody else projects. Be happy with what you have and understand that you can do great things if you truly believe in yourself. We're all critical of ourselves but its freeing to let go of expectations.  

Tip #3: Be Kind to others!

Sometimes, social media can be a breeding ground for cyberbullying. We look forward to the number of likes and comments and take the time to add that extra nice comment on somebody's post. It would make their day! You never know what's happening in somebody's personal life, so make sure to treat everybody with kindness. 

Tip #4 Spend some time by yourself every day

Go for a walk or read a book. Maybe even binge that series that you've been eyeing. Up to you. This is the time to learn about yourself and it's time to review the day. You'll learn that you're a pretty great person! Allotting time every day for yourself has proven to improve mental health. You will also find that you've become more productive and creative. You'll begin to see the wonderful creation that you are, and you'll understand what your goals and dreams are. 

Tip #5 Find a new hobby or spend more time on an existing one

It may be a daunting task, but your future self will certainly thank you for restricting your time spent on social media. Make sure to use those resources for good and have fun! Use the time that you spend on your hobby as a time to unwind and relax. Life is stressful as it is, and just letting all of your burdens go for that 30 minute period will make you content and appreciative.

That's all! Now you're set to make your own path! Remember to stay true to yourself and you'll see your everyday life improving.

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Harshita Bathina

Editor

Harshita Bathina is a rising high school sophomore in the Bay Area. She enjoys all things creative, especially writing! In her free time, she loves to bowl, play tennis, and spend time with her family. She aspires to research new topics in biology, chemistry, and delve into the controversies of politics.


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