Technology and social media can have negative effects on the lives of college students

Michael Rooney
Staff Writer

It is unbelievable how social media has become a part of many people’s everyday lives.  Personally, I cannot recall a single person I know who is not using at least one social media site such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

In 2013, the Study Break Magazine surveyed a total of 260 college students. It was concluded that 95% of those students use Facebook, 80% use Twitter, and 73% use Instagram. Now, those are some pretty high percentages.

Do not get me wrong, social media certainly makes life easier. Through social media, we have the ability to see what our friends are up to, chat with them, and even read some of the news around the world. We can even connect with old friends who now live far away on social media.

In fact, it has made a real difference for most people who were born in the 1990’s or earlier. People who grew up in different generations have had the chance to live without social media. If I wanted to tell my friends what I was up to in my childhood, I would have to tell them in person when I was at school or at the playground.

This is where the issues with social media come into play. It seems that as social media has emerged over the last decade or so, many people are spending a large portion of their day surfing on the sites. A lot of people feel the need to stay caught up with everything that is being shared.

Not only that, but as social media has become more and more popular, it also seems to be a reason that social skills in person have deteriorated. Social media may be relied on too much by some people as a source to get in touch with friends. People even fight with others on it, sometimes in comments where the entire world may be able to see them.

What is even more intimidating about this generation is that social media leaves an individual with a “digital image.” In other words, employers can and will look you up social media and they will get an impression of you just by looking at your profile picture.

I will admit that I love social media. At this point, I could not imagine what it would be like to live as an adult without it. However, as I have observed my ideas about it, I have tried to cut down on scrolling down my news feed just because I am bored.

One reason why we do not have to constantly be online is because by doing so, we would be missing all of the other ways we can occupy our time. It may take away our attention on some of the important things in life, such as homework. We would also be missing out on having fun in various activities with friends.

But we would be missing out on more than just good ways to stay busy. We may also miss out on our attention to our surroundings while using social media. You may not notice that someone is calling your name or you may be walking while scrolling and you may not be paying attention to where you are going, thus creating a dangerous hazard.

Even though the rise of social media and modern technology is a sign that we are in a different generation than most of us were born, it is still possible to communicate with your friends at any time in many other ways. I only have people I have met personally as friends on Facebook and I know that I can communicate with them not only in person, but through a phone call as well.

In addition, as I am continuing to grow up, I want to be able to effectively communicate with people in person, especially with the professional people I may meet later in my life. Because of this, I find that substantial communication skills are an important part of life and I do not want those to be ruined by something I do not necessarily need.

While I wish I could say that I still knock on my friend’s door just to say hello and ask how they are doing, I have realized that spending a little less time on social media has made another difference in my life. By looking away from the screen for a little while, I am able to take a moment to appreciate the world that we live in outside of social media.

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things”- Maya Angelou

Michael Rooney is a Staff Writer for The Comment.

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