Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the social media apps that are going viral. According to news providers such as The Washington Post, CNN, and Business Insider, teens are staring at media for approximately nine hours every day. That is almost half of a teenager’s waking hours.
The hours that teens put in for social media could be used for academics, future planning, athletics, reading, writing--the opportunities are essentially endless, but teenagers are more concerned about what everyone else is doing. Teenagers could be making their futures better, but instead they are staring at the screen--unaware of how many times they have hit a “like” or “follow” button.
Because of this cyber epidemic, teenagers don’t know social media is a distraction to academics. In studies like USA TODAY’s, it is clear that students may put off homework, or use their technology while doing homework. This causes distraction to their schooling, and the feeling that they can always do their homework after the next video that they watch--which in turn leads to another recommended video.
With social media taking over homework and school, students find they have a harder time keeping their grades up--even if they do not want to admit it. With social media creeping up one shoulder, and academics the other, this usually ends up in declining grades, and a lack of sleep from trying to keep them up.
Social media use among teens has been a hot topic in debates, and one major issue is that teens aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Most people know that teens need about ten hours of sleep a night, but a teenager that lives off of social media may not be getting that recommended amount. To teens it is okay for them to sleep eight hours tonight, because they only slept six hours the night before. Despite their best efforts, teens are still not getting the recommended amount of sleep, which results in a series of unfortunate effects.
Some of these teens may be feeling the effects of social media before they sleep. It may be hard for a teen to fall asleep because they are staring two inches away from a bright screen and then expect to fall asleep in the next few minutes.
The boys and girls who use their phone minutes before bed may feel sluggish throughout the next day, and find that their grades are dropping. They may also have trouble concentrating, plus many other side effects. Some of these cases could be prevented if teens would just put down the phone and pick up a book.
As a teenager myself, I am on social media quite a bit. I check Snapchat stories and very occasionally scroll through Facebook. There is news that you can see from the media that you can’t read in a newspaper, and you can talk to an old friend that you forgot about from many years ago with a click of a few buttons. Despite these points though, social media can get out of hand very quickly, and become a very time consuming addiction.
Social media isn’t in and of itself a bad thing, and that’s something that I really want to stress. Social media is like salt: sometimes it’s nice to have it. But too much of it doesn’t taste good--and is pretty bad for you.