By Savanna Gray.
In this world full of technological advancements, more people than ever have access to information online. As a result, people are able to share ideas through many different platforms, one of which is social media. However, this constant flow of new information has become an addiction for many people. In fact, a survey done by the Pew Research Center in 2018 reported that 41% of teenagers believe that they spend too much time on social media (Jiang). Many consequences follow when users don’t place restrictions on their time spent online, and as a result, 24% of teens believe that social media negatively affects society. However, I believe that if this technology is used correctly it will help society to progress even farther as new ideas are spread.
There are many ways to be more responsible while on social media, and the most obvious step is to limit the amount of time you spend online. Be aware of whether or not the time you spend on your phone is limiting your ability to do more important activities, and if it is, set aside time to do those things. The effects of this small act can be astronomical. The hours you might have spent scrolling through your feed can now be used to organize your room, finish that Spanish assignment you’ve been putting off, or even learn a new skill. Whatever it may be, you will feel much more productive than if you had spent your time on social media.
While cutting back on your time online is helpful, there are additional steps you can take to become more responsible with social media. Each time you log into your account, think about your purpose in doing so. Is it to check in on a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while? Or is it because you are bored and trying to find a way to fill time? If you don’t have a specific reason as to why you clicked on the app, you’ll be much more likely to get distracted.
One of the most important things to remember about social media is that there is nothing that is requiring you to use it. Though it might feel like you will miss out on your friends’ lives without it, you will be able to spend just as much time building those relationships with them face to face. Many people who don’t own any social media go through their lives the same as anyone else and are just as happy. If you decide that you want to use social media, it is essential that you are able to balance. Don’t sacrifice the things you care about for something that doesn’t bring true joy. Instead, use social media as a tool to help you to obtain the things that do matter.
There are many more ways to be more responsible on social media, but it all boils down to the effort that you make in changing. You alone are responsible for your actions, along with the consequences that follow. If you feel that you don’t have enough self-control to use social media, take a break until you feel ready enough to go back on. Social media is a powerful tool that when used correctly can have great benefits. How you decide to use this technology is up to you.
Jiang, Jingjing, and Monica Anderson. “How Teens and Parents Navigate Screen Time and Device Distractions.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 30 Nov. 2018, www.pewinternet.org/2018/08/22/how-teens-and-parents-navigate-screen-time-and-device-distractions/.