In modern society’s fast-paced and ever-evolving digital world, social media offers its many platforms to people as a way to keep up with the change. From tiny towns to colossal cities to countries afar, social media has become a routine part of life in nearly all areas of the world. The population of Adams State University (ASU) is certainly no exception to the spread and use of social media. The editorial staff of the Paw Print (Lilliana Chavez, Bailey Sessions, Levi Lowe, and Jeslyn Dees) decided to discuss and share their views on the positive and negative attributes of social media.
Jeslyn, the Copy Editor, began the discussion by noting that social media is a useful communications tool. With it, people have the ability to use pocket-sized devices to collaborate and connect with other individuals who might be across the world. She also cautioned, however, that social media platforms are created to possess addictive qualities that can turn its users into zombies.
Bailey, the Associate Editor, joined in next expressing her mixed views on social media. In January, she decided to take a month-long break from the popular social media platform Instagram. Though the break started with the goal of riding herself of an unhealthy reliance, as the month progressed, she began to notice her increase in happiness and decrease in stress. She realized that her use of social media had been resulting in her constantly comparing herself to others. While she reflected on the negatives that she experienced with social media and the break she took from it, she also pointed out that during her break she was unaware of what was occurring in the world. She pointed out that connectivity is a large positive that social media can offer. She ended with this note: tools are meant to fix problems, not cause them, and the more society becomes reliant on social media, the more problems it will cause.
Jeslyn agreed with Bailey that time management on social media is important. While weighing the benefits of staying informed using social media, she also advised people to take a break from time to time. Jeslyn, too, distanced herself from social media by deleting the Facebook app from her phone a few months ago. Since deleting the app, she has felt freed from the drive to scroll through it in periods of boredom.
Levi, the General Editor, agreed with the previous reasonings and mentioned that he had seen the grab that social media can have on a person. He admitted to having a lack of involvement on social media, but expressed that he sees it as a great communication tool. He stated well that the users of social media must do well to manage themselves in order to avoid letting it control them. He stressed the importance of setting guidelines for using social media is important.
Lilliana, the Editor-in-Chief, admitted that she, too, tends to be rather inactive on her social media accounts, though she does keep them in order to stay connected with other individuals. Though she uses social media to stay connected with far away friends, she had little good to say about it, likening its hold on people to that of a leech. She finds a strangeness in the reality that people tend to fill up their free time bowing their heads and eyeing the screens of their phones. She finds the associated communication in the room, or rather lack thereof, to be disquieting. She described that a room of individuals coated in silence bowing their heads reminded her of what one might come across at a funeral service. While she focused mostly on the atmosphere that a room full of people absorbed by social media, she ended on the lighter note that when used in moderation, social media can bring people together and facilitate communication.
Levi joined in after mentioning that the organizations themselves are trying to make their platforms more addictive, and that one of their goals is to keep people on the platforms for as long as possible. Making a profit is another motivation that keeps social media in an ever-evolutionary state all the while making it more addictive.
Jeslyn joined in with an agreement of the discomfort found in a room of people with their eyes glued to their phones. She also pointed out that the term social media is quite misleading as it causes people to behave in an antisocial manner. While she noted that what can be found on social media is indeed a part of our culture, she debated that it takes up far too much time. The time lost makes people less creative and motivated and caused psychosocial effects. She strongly concluded that “We’ve abused the tool of social media and it, too, has abused us.”