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This past week I found myself struggling for motivation. I was lacking productivity and therefore was stuck in this atrocious cycle of procrastination. School, work, and everything in between just kept piling up, and yet, I chose to stand behind my laptop and spend my precious moments scrolling through social media. As realization dawned on me I was plagued with regret. My phone, once again, had become a form of distraction for me. Now, this concept isn't relatively new. I see myself, and many others around often stuck in this vicious cycle of social media. Now, social media isn't an evil component of society either; in fact, I believe it is a tool, but like many, it has the potential for both good and evil.
Regardless of your personal opinions on social media, one universal idea is accepted by all: social media does play a pivotal role in our lives. According to a Pew survey conducted during 2014 and 2015, 94 percent of teens who go online using a mobile device do so daily, spending nearly nine hours a day consuming media according to a study conducted by the nonprofit group Common Sense Media. The idea that social media is a critical component of society is accepted by all.
Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even Vocal are all websites and apps, responsible for the increased interconnectedness among people. They connect individuals on a global scale, a phenomenon that was nearly non-existent 20 or 30 years ago. Social platforms are also an excellent form of expression. For example, those who enjoy photography can choose to further explore their interest by utilizing platforms such as Instagram, and those who enjoy writing can express their interest on Vocal or Wattpad. Social media allows an individual to progress and do better in the art they believe in. Social media has also allowed for society as a whole to better respect artistic fields such as photography, animation or writing.
Despite all the positives that come along with the recent social media expansion, negatives are inevitable. Like myself this past week, many individuals find themselves stuck in this never-ending chain of procrastination due to social media. It can act as a distraction or an obstacle from obtaining goals or dreams. And to many, it has become a social ladder that is essential to cross for the establishment of human worth. Human worth has never in been so quantifiable to the extent it is today. Numbers and followers resemble worth like they never have before. In the past, regions and empires colonized in means to expand their control, and humans to some extent still do that, just on a smaller scale. Extensive use of social media has indeed allowed humans to interact on a global scale but has also made us abandon those who are merely five meters away from us, resulting in feelings of loneliness and loss.
In many moments of my own life, social media has caused me to question my worth. It has resulted in comparison and in byproducts like cyberbullying, but it has also allowed me to be exposed to the world in a way that was never once possible. It has enabled me to become more open-minded and given me a platform to express myself. Social media and its use have become a question among many, and like many dilemmas in life, the answer to this can be found in moderation. Moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle and can help an individual attain the required balance in life. It almost acts like a maximum dosage and disables a viewer from going overboard. Having people to control your screen time or even utilizing apps that can monitor social media usage are all strategies that can be implemented to achieve the required balance.
Ultimately, social media is a powerful tool. It must be utilized as a tool and not as a lifestyle in itself. It is merely an aspect of life, and there is much more outside of its little bubble, which is a fact we must not diminish. With moderation and proper usage, social media can become a powerful device in the hand of its user.