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Is Snapchat a Waste of Time?

Is Snapchat a Waste of Time?

Is Snapchat a Waste of Time?

Is Snapchat a Waste of Time?

Jackson Van Meter, Staff Writer

     Hundreds of thousands of teenagers sitting alone in their dark rooms staring at a glowing screen of fake interactions and brain rotting, time wasting, mentally draining, unrealistic information and images sliding down their little screens. This is the image most people think of when someone mentions social media: an alternative to interactions and relationships in real life that cannot exist if social media is used. This may be an exaggeration, but many people believe that social media is purely unhealthy and unnecessary when there is more to it.

     One of the biggest points against social medias in general is its disconnect from real world interactions.

     “Deep personal relationships are the foundation for a good mental health,” Upper School Counselor Lauren Powell said. “Snapchat relationships can be a lot of fun but they are no substitute for time spent face-to-face with people that we truly care about. The connection that we make through our senses, sight, sound and touch are vital to developing true intimacy and trust with other people.”

     Social media certainly can not replace in real life interactions, but social media can be a great supplement to these relationships, it does not have to be either or. Out of 100 random SA students, 64 said Snapchat does not harm relationships, and even more, 79 out of 100, said it helps start new relationships. Only 46 students out of a 100 said Snapchat is unhealthy for developing and using social skills, but an astonishing amount said not only is Snapchat not a waste of time (20 out of 100) but also, 64 out of that same 100 said it depends on how one uses the app.

     “I think social media can be bad for you,” Junior Emerson Boone said. “It really comes down to how you’re using your time on whatever app, because social media can be good, but sometimes people spend too much time on it and get too caught up in it.”

     It is a choice as to how much time you spend looking at social media and even what you take away from that time. For example, if you compare yourself to people in real life you will most likely compare yourself to others on social media, which would be even more harmful as it is an idealized version of them. Bad habits such as this are magnified on social media’s because of this ideal, planned image and the fact that they are not in person or real just makes it worse.

     “There have been lots of studies that say people report being more depressed after getting off of the 15 minute session on Facebook,” Powell said. “People often compare themselves, judge others and do other really unhealthy things on social media. Sure, there is some fun stuff to, do but it is limited!  Being with your friends laughing and having fun together, with your family talking about important stuff, and meeting people face to face for the first time are the things that really help us grow and enjoy being human. Social media is a substitute sometimes, but studies show people who spend more time in the real company of others feel better, less lonely and ultimately are happier.”

     Social media can be a good, fun thing that can connect you with friends and relatives around the world with quick and easy communication and sharing when used wisely and in moderation, but too much of it will obviously be harmful.

     “Humans are social creatures, if social media helps you, great, but if it drags you down, let it go and spend the day being weird and striking up random conversations,” Powell said. “Connection and a sense of belonging are crucial for our health and happiness!”

     Social media is like cake, it is really great for a few bites or even a big slice when you are craving it, but if you eat the whole cake, especially too fast, you will probably throw up. You may love the sugar and crave it later but this is where self control comes in. Social media is commonly confused with self control. If someone is sitting at a table with their friends and is looking at their phone it is not social media’s fault. Sure it is the tempter, but they do not have to be on social media; it is a temptation they have fallen for.

     “I think social media is great but obviously there are some drawbacks,” Junior Hayes Waycaster said. “The main thing is just that people are on their phones all the time and they get addicted. Social media also has a tendency to create negativity, so you have to be careful.”

     Snapchat is not all bad. It was obviously not made to bully other teens or depress others, so there is a way to use it in a beneficial manner: to share photos with friends, have meaningful conversations, and stay connected with whoever you want to make strong lasting relationships.

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