Social media: a gift in moderation; a curse in obsession

Logan Allan, Staff Writer

Who would you be without social media? As an avid blogger with an addiction to the feel of the clicks of the keyboard keys beneath my fingers, it’s hard to think where I would be without sites such as Blogspot or Tumblr. With next to constant access to these sites—thanks to our cell phones and/or tablets—social media has become an integral part of almost every teen and young adult’s life.

The sophomore English classes have recently finished reading the novel Fahrenheit 451. In this novel, members of society are completely absorbed into their virtual lives. With the rise of social media in the 21st century, many believe that our generation is close to becoming similar to the society in Fahrenheit 451.

Social media and networking have undoubtedly changed how our generation thinks and behaves. Upon walking into the cafeteria, at least one or two of the lunch tables will be filled with students using their phones instead of talking with the people beside them. During class there is normally at least one student who’s on Snapchat or Instagram instead of taking down the notes for the day.

Our generation is known as the “me, me, me” generation for our multitudes of selfies and for our obsession with how many “likes,” “reblogs,” or “retweets” we get on our original posts. There’s a sense of pride and happiness that comes out of seeing someone liking your post, and it gives you a false boost of self-confidence, almost like a trigger for temporarily feeling good.

The issue with people using social media is that we can become so absorbed in it that we spend more time cultivating an online persona than we do cultivating our actual skill sets, personalities, or relationships with those around us. With that said, when social media and networking are used in moderation, and if they’re used for the intended uses, they can turn out to be one of the most beautiful parts of the Internet.

Social media and networking have the ability to connect people from all around the world, to grant us a chance to hear from the people who are close to us but don’t live nearby, and to keep us updated on information that wouldn’t reach us unless we specifically searched for it.

So is it such a bad thing that social media and networking are such integral parts of our lives? I believe not.

Social media and networking are ways to stay connected and to explore the world, to hear other people’s views and problems. Social media and networking grants users a little peek into just how big the world is and how many people with completely different lives there are to meet.

The key to keeping social media and networking a gift to society is not to let social media define who you are, but to let it expand your world and help you realize who you can become.