Unplugged and Logged Off
Social media plays a large role in many young adult lives. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey found about 88 percent of 18-29-year-old Americans indicated that they used a social media platform. The study also reported that roughly 78 percent of 18-24-year-olds use Snapchat and about 71 percent of the same age group use Instagram.
With these being only two of the many social media platforms, and 71 percent of the Snapchat users visiting the app multiple times a day, it’s no surprise that social media can play a role throughout a college student’s day.
However, this isn’t the case for all students. Erika Villegas-Perez, a senior international rescue and relief major, has made the choice not to use social media. “I’ve only used Twitter, and that’s because of a class,” Villegas-Perez explained. “It was for psychology. We had to post assignments on there. Our assignments were to find articles and post them on Twitter.”
Villegas-Perez says she doesn’t use social media mostly because she doesn’t have the time. “I guess I don’t do it [social media] because I can’t keep up with, like, being constantly there, and then I have enough on my plate that I just can’t be concentrated so I don’t see a reason to add something,” Villegas-Perez said. Villegas-Perez found one of the benefits of not using social media is that she’s less likely to get distracted. She also feels that adding social media to her life would be adding a large responsibility. Her digital presence would be long lasting and could be viewed by future employers.
The main drawback of not being on social media, Villegas-Perez noted, is that she isn’t as connected to other people. She finds that it’s sometimes annoying to not be able to see what others do and post. Still, for her, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how much social media, if any, one should participate in. While for some it’s simply a useful tool to communicate, for others it can be an addiction.
As with many other aspects of life, it’s important to find a balance with social media. For those who find themselves online most of the time, unplugging for a few days might be an enjoyable experience.
Amanda McCarter is a senior studying biomedical science.