Social Media or Real Life?

Finding a balance between technological and in-person interactions

A typical lifestyle of a student nowadays, always on social media

A typical lifestyle of a student nowadays, always on social media

Emily Hykes, Staff Writer

Social media has become a huge part of the 21st century. It’s a part of our everyday lives, and has probably even wound its way into your daily schedule. Chances are you don’t even think twice before tapping and scrolling. It’s true, social media offers plenty of benefits, provides many opportunities, and is a great platform for a talent, passion, or a career. Companies and businesses have made fortunes off of networks that once seemed to be something “from the future”. Old friends have connected through communities like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Texting and even Snapchat are effortless and have become easy ways to keep in touch everyday with friends and family. Social media appears to be benefitting society more than damaging it. However, does this online interaction ever become too controlling? Have we become “addicted” to carrying out our conversations through a keyboard or camera? Are our thoughts and feelings any different when typed and sent rather than spoken and felt?

On the teacher front, Stacy Helmbrecht-Wilson, a texter and Facebook user, states that “Social media has two sides to it. It’s awesome and a great way to stay connected, but the downside is sometimes people use it to be mean.” When comparing her generation to that of her children, she describes “It’s a different world… The idea of a private conversation [on the phone] wasn’t really possible.” It’s true, our generation finds benefits and losses with the use of social media. From the perspective of a student, Anna Kruesel ‘18 explains how she is on Snapchat all day. However, her life on social media interferes with homework and sleep, and so she still prioritizes face-to-face interactions. She says, “I think they’re more real.” A fellow student here at Blake, Isabel Norsten ‘16, can relate to Kruesel’s outlook on social media. “It’s all about balance,” she says, “I’ve made a conscious effort to spend time with my family and friends in person and it’s always way better!” She also included that social media makes her feel connected.

In both cases, social media has definitely blossomed, thanks to the century’s massive improvement in technological innovation. The only question remains is to what extent does it help us and to what extent does it shut us down?