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Should we stop using social media?

Should we stop using social media?
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I don’t know about you, but I spend almost every minute of the day on social media. Whether it be stalking my friend’s brother’s cousin’s hamster on Facebook or adding every single filter to my Instagram photos, I can’t peel myself away from my phone screen. Almost every old person tries to preach to me how bad the Internet is for me and that there is a ‘big world’ out there that I’m missing by being glued to my phone, should I be listening to them?

Statistics show that 84% of us in the UK check Facebook more than once an hour and nearly everyone in the UK under the age of 21 that has a Facebook account also uses at least one other social media site. But are these sites doing more harm than good?

Cyber bulling is on the rise, as bullies can communicate with their victims online often without anyone else noticing it is happening. Many children have taken their lives due to the horrific trolling of their social media accounts online, and many children say they feel down due to social media.

It’s not just children. Young adults have said that seeing celebrities and perfect lives everyday on Instagram can lower their self esteem and make them feel down. We all upload our highlights online, but we’d never upload the reality of life, waking up hungover looking like we’re on deaths door or the days we spend slaving away at an essay in the library. Instead we upload the best bits, when we’re dolled up ready for a night out with friends or a photo of the trip to Paris you had. This can make people feel inadequate, feeling like they’re not out living life to the full. Social media can completely take over your life.

I can’t think what I would do if I lost my phone for a week, I have a constant need to be replying to people as fast as I can or checking Twitter to see what Donald Trump has done now. But by doing this am I missing out on ‘real life’?

I can’t begin to imagine the amount of work I’d get done if I didn’t pick up my phone and check my Snapchat stories every 2 minutes. I don’t think I could ever stop using social media completely, but I have started to try to cut down.

Using myself as a guinea pig, I tried to restrict myself to 5 minutes of social media an hour. It went well and I managed to stick to my restrictions. However, I can’t say I’ve had some sort of life changing experience by putting my phone away more, I haven’t seen much more of the world than I did before, but I do feel like I listen to people more instead of half-heartedly listening whilst I scroll through my Instagram feed. Although, I think people are happier that I don’t put 10 minute Snapchat stories of my night out up every night a week.

Holly Smith Editor

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