Get Off Media: Go Be Social

Ella Villar, Editorial Editor

Even though social media has become an important part of everyday life, people do not realize how much time is spent staring at their screen and forget to look up every once in a while.
Whether on a school campus, on the street, or even on the beach or a ski lift, it is commonplace to see the people around us constantly peering down at the screen of their smartphone.
They may be checking a sport score, or glancing at the news of the day but more often than not, it is a social media app that is warranting such intense attention. We spend countless hours perusing connection through social media– but are we really connecting?
Instagram has nearly 800 million users– with an average of 500 million daily active users, according to CNBC. Instagram was launched in 2010, targeting a demographic of photographers which has now expanded to all people, of all ages.
Social media has made it acceptable to hide behind a screen. It can be used as a crutch for poor and reckless behavior as often as it is used to check scores or today’s news. Imagine how many people break up over text, or have a rumor spread about them on the internet.
Our president uses his Twitter feed to attack anyone that disagrees with him. Ranting on social media has made what our nation’s leaders say a joke. People don’t take tweets seriously, but it’s all people will read.
The ease of which we can hurt others on social media without any personal interaction is making us a much more callous society.
Many people argue that social media has improved relationships with others. Apps like Facebook and Instagram are easy ways to stay connected with friends and to stay in touch with relatives.
Our parents had to rely on phone calls and letter writing to contact friends and family. In today’s society, people do not take the time to call someone on the phone, or sit down and write a letter to a friend. Everything is done with the touch of a button rather then taking time and effort to communicate with friends. Today we can reach out to just about anyone at anytime via social media.
Although Facebook and Instagram give you a chance to connect with old friends, it promotes you to connect virtually rather then a real life connection. Having relationships that are face-to-face are more important because it gives you an opportunity to spend time and make memories rather than talk behind a screen. Personal connections are much more valuable because people need to share emotions and body language to fully communicate and those things are lost in a post.
The new update by Apple lets you track the amount of screen time used on apps, websites and more. This was intended to help people make better decisions about the amount of time we spend on our screens which can help us set limitations. With the new update, set restrictions for yourself on how much time you spend on your phone and try to keep the screen time to a minimum.
Look up from your screen every so often. Go write a letter, pick up the phone, go for a walk, or talk to someone right next to you. It will save us all!