The country wastes time on too much social media

Staff Editorial

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People everywhere in the U.S. are spending too much time on their social media instead of actually going outside and communicating with others face-to-face.

Don’t get us wrong; social media and smartphones are extremely important.

Do you remember the last time you didn’t have the resources to just message or call someone you needed to contact right away? For many of us on the Editorial Board, that was way back in middle school or the early years of high school.

Something happened, though. Something happened after texting with buttons was replaced with the iconic touchscreen.

People went from occasionally texting to frequently texting. The entrance of smartphones with functional Internet browsers bred a culture of obsession and lethargy. It also led to the creation of social networks; we now refer to them as the collective term “social media.”

We at The Daily Eastern News believe that yes, social media is very important, but it is also very damning.

Connecting with people online has greatly affected interpersonal communication.

Odyssey writer Anna Cole says communication via social media on mobile devices does impact people’s emotions negatively in some ways.

“Studies on how the mobile device has caused psychological effects on individuals have shown that emotions are affected, often bringing increased loneliness, depression, or sleep deprivation,” the website says.

From the Editorial Board’s perspective, this certainly can be the case.

There’s always this barrier dividing the two or more parties communicating via social media. This barrier can create some tension or sadness, depending on the people communicating.

But interacting via social media on a mobile device can also invoke some really happy feelings.

Sometimes that barrier separating parties can make for interesting conversations and unlikely friendships that simply wouldn’t be possible in face-to-face communication. It can also lead to deception, heartache and danger as well.

In any case, social media brings people together online, just not face-to-face.

But people need that interpersonal communication. Without it, the loneliness sets in.

And we understand that people say it all the time, but social media really does prevent people from going outside once in a while.

Humans need vitamin D. Our skin produces large amount of vitamin D when it’s exposed to the sunlight, so, basically, we feel pretty good physically and mentally when we go outside in the sun.

Social media influences people to stay inside, or to at least stay fixated on the touchscreen of the mobile device displaying it.

Think about all of the fun activities you’ve missed out on because you were preoccupied with something on social media. Think about how many times social media has distracted you from doing what you need and/or wanted to do.

That’s why we are challenging you to take a break. Shut off your phone for a few hours and relax (meditate, take a bubble bath—do anything that relaxes you).

Feel free to send a mass text explaining to family and friends that you’ll be unavailable.

Or, better yet, go to an event you wouldn’t normally go to.

Go to a club meeting—get involved with something on campus. Do something to get out of your typical social media stupor.

It’ll feel weird at first, but it’ll feel good to get away.