Opinion: What’s stopping us from living beyond social media?

Do phones and social media enable us to live our lives to the fullest? No, sadly, they do not. Many people worry too much about how many likes they get on Instagram or retweets on Twitter. Social media has more disadvantages than benefits.

Social media can cause teenagers self-harm. A normal teenager is usually very self-conscious and when they have to worry about why they did not get enough likes on a picture, it can add to the lack of confidence. Bullying can also be pursued through social media.

With teenagers being on social networking all the time, bullies are able to do most of their bullying through media rather than face-to-face because of how much time teenagers spend on the networks. Since social networking has started, cyberbullying has risen according to an article in Neutral Magazine written by Tom Gallagher.

Social media not only causes distraction, but also using words like “lol” and “idk” affects students writing.

An article dated Nov. 8, 2010, published in the British newspaper “The Telegraph,” talked about a report by British school-trip provider JCA about social media and how it affects the grades: “The report concludes that the children with the poorest grades at school are the ones who spent most time on social networking.”

Not only does social media cause a huge drop of poor grades, but it also influences teenagers to live their lives through it. Some teenagers barely interact with others face to face, causing socializing issues.

The Telegraph article states, “Rather than relying on life experiences, educational travel and face to face interaction with others, children are becoming obsessed with social networking and this is shaping their attitudes instead.”

However, there are many benefits to social networking. It enables people to be able to communicate all around the world. It also lets people show their creative side; whether if it is taking a good picture or writing a funny tweet, it allows people to express their artistic heart.

Today, social media is a part our community and everyday life; many people are not accepting that.  People need to learn that having an Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter account may not bad thing since it is a part of life we live in, but to a certain extent.

You need to have a balance between social media and the real world. Instead of being on your phone, take a break, go on a walk, or hangout with someone.

At school, pay attention in class. Don’t let a Snapchat take away from important topic. When at home, set a plan that works for you. Maybe check it when you first get home and then put your phone in another room and focus on homework, or maybe do your homework first and then check social media before bed.

Try not be trapped in your room with your phone glued to your hands if you do have free time.  Spend time with your brother or sister no matter how annoying they are. If you are an only child, then go spend time with your parents or at least have a conversation with them for a few minutes; you are only with them for a certain amount of time of your life.

Live a life that when you are on your death bed and is able to know you did not waste your time on phone and went and lived a life then you made the right balance between society and social media.