Is social media like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat a waste of time?


A student liking a picture on Instagram

Genesis Osorio, Reporter

Waking up in the morning to get ready for school, your first instinct will most likely be to use your phone. To scroll endlessly upon your social media and check up on recent updates. As social media has grown to all ages and all platforms, the usage of social media could just be a waste of time.

With modern technology that is being released to the public, apps like Instagram, Snapchat and many more have been taking over the internet like a storm.  As the number of teenagers and adults who join social media grows, the multiple uses for media ranges.

Ms. Mangione, who teaches 8th-grade science at The Equity Project Charter School and who herself owns an Instagram page had a lot to say.  “Social media can be used to connect the word, reunite with family and friends, have information at your fingertips, but as quickly as they can spread love and connection, they also facilitate in the spread of hate and violence.”

With a study conducted nearly a year ago, Mandatory “found that the average American spends 1,471 hours (61 days) watching TV per year. As if that wasn’t bad enough, video games account for 382 of those hours, and social media siphons a blood-sucking 382 hours per year.” That’s about 631 billion total hours that Americans waste on technology.

A survey was issued out across NYC iSchool to see what students thought about social media. With several responses and mixed opinions, the results were 72.5% believe that social media isn’t a waste of time while 27.5% believe it is. Majority of students here at iSchool agree that social media can be useful and overall improve students’ lives.

Students said with the media they are able to express themselves, Anonymous student said, “I also do feel a sense of connection and support from my peers when I get attention on social media. You get this rush and it feels good and social media appeals to this feeling. Furthermore, I am able to use my voice in social media and be heard by a large public.”

Social media can have its pros and cons. Depending on how social media is used, the outcome can be harmful or dangerous. Ms. Mangione stated, “They can be used to connect the word, reunite with family and friends, have information at your fingertips, but as quickly as they can spread love and connection, they also facilitate in the spread of hate and violence.”

Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter give a false representation of who people are. Influencers and celebrities are guilty of photoshopping and altering photos to make themselves look better. These fabricated appearances can lead to confidence issues and low self-esteem.

An anonymous student said, “People only post what they want others to see thus creating a false image of who they actually are.”

Though social media has it’s negative aspects, there are many positive effects. Since social media is worldwide and everyone has quick access to it, it is easier to contact people from wherever. According to Summitpsnews, “Social media was made to interact with people you know who live far away or to share something interesting with others.”

Keeping in touch has never been so easy.  With less effort, you are able to update family and friends within every second and stay associated with them. Now though this helps us connect us as a community it does separate us as humans.

Whether social media is positive or negative, most of the time it is not a productive way to spend your time. An anonymous student commented, “Apps are designed to drag you into endless scrolling, and that is definitely a waste of time. I try not to let myself scroll through, at least not often, but when I do, I have this feeling that the next post will satisfy my urge to keep scrolling, but it never does, and I always want to look at just one more post.”

These apps are designed to do exactly that and far too many people allow these apps to take control of them like that. Students can be distracted from school, sports, and other interests they take place in. Summitpsnews explained, “When on social media, you mostly forget what you’re doing at school and forget what the teachers are explaining. Later on, you can’t remember anything about what to do for your project, and you get a bad grade on it.”

As social media has grown and developed, it has made a dent in society. 9th grader, Grey Tratenberg said, “I think that social media is shaping society by changing the norms for things like real life interaction, or how many sports and how much exercise you get. It’s changing society into a technology-based environment.”

Social media is a place to express yourself, to spread ideas and opinions. I think, just in general, that the more people are exposed to difference, even if it’s on social media, the more we learn about other people and other cultures, and the more accepting we become.