Social Media: The “Crack” of 2019?


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Di’Avionne Irving, Staff Writer

When you think of addictions, your mind may automatically steer to drugs and alcohol. But today, that is not the only case. The addiction that I am speaking about is social media. Social media is websites and applications that let users create and share content or to participate in social networking: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, for examples. 

Social media has many great benefits. Social media is a way for people to learn about current events and to participate in networking. Social media is a way for people to voice their opinions about different social activities, such as upcoming elections, rape culture, or feminism. Social media is also a way for businesses and brands to expand their company ideals. While social media has many benefits, there is also a dark side of social media. 

Social media can influence the way people think, act and feel. Social media also takes away from learning time and actual connection time with peers. Substitute teacher Mr. Smalling believes that “Social media has some very good points and some negative points as well,” adding that “it tends to be a waste of time.” Mr. Smalling believes that “it has cut into the classroom time of students being as productive as possible, because they are consistently on social media.” Mr. Smalling says that “there are some good things to social media, but the bad things tend to outweigh the good things.” 

Social media affects students and teachers. Often times, students aren’t focused in school on their school work, because they are too busy on social media. Of the distraction to school work, senior James Edgecombe said “it is very distracting to the kids who wants to learn.” He also says that “the students who are always talking about social media should be more considerate of their peers.” 

Apple iPhone has updated their system to give an approximate screen time where the users can see how much time they spend on different applications, so I asked two students, Tofunmi Adegbite and Aaliyah Doss, how much time they spend on average. Doss spends an average of 21.3 hours weekly on social media while Adegbite spends an average of 18 hours weekly on social media. 

When thinking about the question “How does social media take away from learning time?” I begin to think about the times when I was on social media rather than paying attention to the lesson. It had gotten so bad where I wouldn’t pay attention to the point where I would fail tests and quizzes because I have failed to pay attention to the lesson. Social media has taken so much of my time I would tend to not get enough sleep. Also, when I was attempting to do my homework I couldn’t focus because the addicting chimes of the notifications would direct my attention to my phone instead of my work.

In response to this, I recently came up with five steps to help my household and I keep from spending all of our time on social media:     

5 quick steps to keep from spending too much time on social media.

  1. When completing homework, place your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or you can mute it. 
  2. Spend at least 30 minutes to an hour daily relaxing your mind and your eyes from your phone. 
  3. When completing activities such as cleaning, put away your phone, so that you can do the job more efficiently.
  4. Create a goal to manage the amount of time you are going to spend on social media.
  5. Before going to bed, spend at least an hour to relax your mind from all the things you’ve seen and heard around you and from social media.

These 5 steps might also help you become more aware of your surroundings, and to focus more on yourself and your schoolwork. Don’t become addicted to the “crack” of 2019.