Social Networking: Highly Underestimated

Social Networking: Highly Underestimated

Alicia Dixon, Staff Writer

These days, almost every high school student seems to have some version of a social network.  Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, social media has become more popular than the average form of communication or news system. Its prevalence wouldn’t be as big of a problem in the life of a highschooler if its use wasn’t getting out of control.

In fact, a large majority of CHS students share that social networking has a larger role in their lives than it probably should have. Social networking has become so overwhelmingly addicting and life-controlling for some teenagers that they have trouble juggling and balancing the time between their “school” lives and “cyber” lives.

“I spend so much time online, updating and being up-to-date on other people, because I get so distracted and spend way more time than I intended to.  It has become a part of my daily routine,” sophomore Claire Sattler explained.

Many students agreed with Sattler, and some even said that social media updates were more important to them than regular news, whether the news is local, national, or international.  They argued that in high school, it’s sometimes more important to be aware of school news about fellow students and school events than foreign events and conflicts.

Although it is important to be conscious of one’s social surroundings in the adolescent world, it is equally, if not more, important to spend time away from technology and be with people.  This is how sophomore Molly Curtis feels.

“I barely ever use social networking.  I mean, I have a Twitter, but I never go on it.  Same with Instagram.  I just don’t see a need to update things about my life everyday for people to see,” she explained.

Some, like Curtis, think that students should be educating themselves more on current events.

“I believe that knowing more about your surroundings, like the government, the community, and foreign events, is more important for a high school student. More people need to be more aware,” she shared. She believes a knowledge of current events can help in classes like Social Studies.

This, of course, is hard when the apps and online sites of social networks are calling out to students and begging them to check in, something which happens almost 24/7.  Now that every social network is accessible from iPhones, which a large population of students has, these networks are almost impossible to ignore.

But students have to ignore them for their own sake.

For instance, for many students this is one of the sole reasons for declining grades this year. They are managing their time incorrectly between about social networks and school.  Many have even deleted their Twitter accounts in order to get back on track and earn better grades

“I had to delete my Twitter last year because it really distracted me from my school work.  On social networks there is always a new picture or Tweet to look at every minute, and it’s difficult to ever get anything done,” sophomore Jen Lewis explained.

Other students were wise and never made accounts for social media in the first place because they knew it would hinder them too much when it came to school work.

“A lot of my friends have Twitter and Instagram accounts and they have trouble when it comes to balancing time between school and time on their accounts.  So I just never made any [accounts] in the first place to make sure I would stay focused on school,” sophomore Cara Felts explained.

What lesson is there to be learned from all of this? If getting straight A’s and the highest grade point average possible are high on your list, avoid joining too many social networks, and, if you do get them, restrain yourself from spending too much time on them.  Not only will spending less time on your accounts possibly benefit your grades, you might also surprise yourself, and others, with what else you can do and what else you know other than posting pictures and updating statues.

Boys seem to take social media more in stride than girls, too. They view social networks very differently than girls.

“I think that Instagram is stupid; I take pictures, but I don’t feel the need to show them to everyone.  Everything posted is so repetitive and it’s annoying when people update their accounts all the time,” sophomore Jack Harrell explained.

The main thing he dislikes is that many of the pictures that girls post is of themselves. These “selfies” have taken over the feeds of these networks to the point that they are the majority of pictures that are posted.

“I’ve already seen you once today [at school]; I don’t need to see you again,” Harrell criticized.

Again, what should a student realize from this advice? If you insist on having a Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook account, limit the amount of selfies that you post.  They may be appealing to you, but after a while if that’s all you post, viewers get tired of it.  Save the large amounts of selfies for your camera roll alone.

Although there are these slight cons that annoy some students, many students still cannot resist and continue to have accounts on these networks.  Harrell for example, still has a Twitter even though he has restrained from getting a Facebook or an Instagram.  But he claims that he doesn’t let it control his life.

This is the key to success in your high school years, and the ultimate lesson to be learned.  Students cannot let things like social networks control their lives.  It’s not healthy to be in front of a computer or phone screen all the time.  Go out and get some fresh air, or at least spend some time away from technology to minimize your addiction, which, by the sound of it, will grow quickly in a short amount of time if you’re not careful.

All in all, while social networks are fun, amusing, and a way to pass time, or as most students probably look at it, procrastinate, they pose a larger threat than one might think, and not just to school and grades, but also to everyday life.  Most students underestimate them, that is until they become hopelessly addicted to them.  So have fun with your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but not to the extent that you are never seen again outside your home.