The next kind of detox

I know I said in my first post that I would probably post once a week, and I probably won’t post again for another day or two, but I think this is important.

It is exam week and me and my friend are giving up social media.

This is going to be rough and I already have wasted time trying to do who knows what, but for some reason when I (temporarily) deleted those apps it felt reassuring.

Teens spend an average of 9 hours a day on social media , and I don’t want to be a part of that.

This year in English, we are writing editorials about a controversial topic, and here are a few snipits of mine, about-you guessed it!-social media and the dangers it holds. Keep in mind it is nowhere near completed…this is just a draft!

 

Putting it’s best foot forward, social media hides the real problems; showing lives told through pictures, captions, and selfies. A life behind the screen rivets teens. From the dead of night to during school, every minute, spare or not, social media consumes it. Waking up in the morning with dark circles and glossy eyes is not just because of sleep deprivation. Being glued to a screen is now a norm, and the addiction is real.

It has continuously been proven that social media harms the academics of students, but we still continue to integrate technology into our learning, while many students use it to peruse the internet. On average, students who use social media score 20% lower on tests. In a recent study, it was found that college students who texted during class had a lower recall about the topic, and students who texted while doing homework had lower grades. Another study found that Hispanic teenagers who spend more time on Facebook had lower scores in math. Social media has been linked to sleep problems, and with students logging on late at night, this is no surprise because this interferes with homework. Half of teens say they usually use social media while doing homework, and over two-thirds don’t believe it affects their work. However, in many studies, specifically one at Stanford University, it was found that there is a decrease in processing information and cognitive control between students who were heavy media multitaskers and light media multitaskers.

With the rising popularity of social media, there has also been a rise in cyberbullying. Over one-half of teens have been bullied online, one in three having received a threat, yet over half of these teens don’t tell their parents. Cyberbullying appeals to the bullies because they can hide behind a screen. In 2011, only 32% of colored adolescents reported being victimized because of their race, and now that number has risen to a shocking 50%.  

When all the evidence points toward it, why have we not done anything to change this? *To discount this information is not something that we want to do. Countless articles, reports, and studies have found the information, but we still are standing by and watching as the lives of teenagers are being swept up by the media; the digital world we live in continues to dominate. Two-thirds of parents still don’t have rules set in place regulating their child’s screen time, and children younger than two years are exposed to a world of screens. “In the era of social media, such comparisons take place on a screen with carefully curated depictions that don’t provide the full picture. Mobile devices escalate the comparisons from occasional to nearly constant…Madison Holleran’s suicide provided what might be the ultimate contrast between a shiny Instagram feed and interior darkness” (New York Times). The chain of college suicides needs to be a wake up call. It needs to be an illustration of the power social media has, and now more than ever, its grasp is getting stronger.

 

I will post the finished editorial soon!