In today’s society, if you don’t use social media, you’re never in the loop or caught up with new trends. Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok are three of the most popular social media apps used and the three that are used for communication today. What’s a text message? Teenagers couldn’t tell you, because they now mainly use Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
I’ve had some strong feelings about how social media is basically taking over the world. Do I use it a lot? Yes. Do I use it as my way of communication? Yes. However, this is only because it’s the only way I communicate with my friends, which is sad. Sometimes I think about deleting all social media apps and seeing which one of my friends would text me everyday and keep me updated on everything that’s going on, but I’m scared to. I know that’s not a valid reason to not delete my apps, but it’s almost like peer pressure to have all social media apps.
If I didn’t have social media, I would probably go on more “adventures.” Walk my dogs, take them on hikes, or spend more time with friends in person and catch up with them that way instead of through a phone screen. I could focus more on school work, which I already do, but I could take my time and not be tempted to look at my phone for any social media notifications.
I did an experiment with myself to test how often I was on my phone. I turned my screen time on through settings and got a weekly update of twelve hours a week. For some people, that wouldn’t seem too bad, but my most used social media app was Snapchat at 75%. In November 2020, I tried another experiment. I deleted Snapchat and TikTok, leaving Instagram. I wanted to see how many of my “friends” would actually text message me, and only two of them did. Two of my friends texted me to check up on me because I deleted the apps so abruptly. I told them about my experiment and they joined me in it, and told me that zero of their friends texted them.
With the results my friends and I got, it made me realize how much people use their phones. How addictive a phone screen can be. How addicting social media can be. It makes me upset, but there’s not much I can do about it. I keep my screen time on now and for the past week, my weekly summary has been under four hours.
I encourage more people to use less social media in whatever way they can. Whether that’s deleting all social media apps, shutting off your phone for a couple hours, or even turning on screen time so you’re not tempted to have a high number for your weekly summary. How long can you go without social media?
Junior Kandyce Jackson is a staff writer for the 2020-2021 Colonel Newsmagazine. She is a member of the Chamber Choir. When she is not in class, you can find her dancing at her studio. She enjoys cracking open a book and reading in the sun.