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My Relationship with Social Media

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The first form of social media I ever got was an Instagram. I was in the 7th grade, and I didn’t even have a smartphone yet. Every other day or so my dad would let me get on his Android and I would catch up on the “outside world.” By 8th grade I bought an iPod Touch, and I was so excited. I was finally able to, so I also downloaded Twitter and Vine. I never actually made a video on Vine, but I loved watching all of the “Vine Famous” people. Instagram was by far still my favorite, and Twitter was okay. I didn’t spend nearly as much time on social media as some people, but I definitely was spending more time than I should. I was reading less, spending less time with my family, and I always felt the need to stay up to date on my feed so I wouldn’t fall behind.

And then my freshman year of high school I attended the state student council convention for the first time. On the second night, before the general session began, they were playing inspirational videos on the big screen. They played this video about how much of the world you miss when you’re always looking at your phone. For whatever reason, the message of that video really hit home with me. I realized that I was always complaining about what little free time I had, but if I added up the amount of time in a week I spent on social media, it was probably close to 12 hours. That’s 12 hours I could be spending with people I love, or doing something I’m passionate about, or learning something new. I also realized that most of the people I was following, I didn’t really care what they were doing. And especially with Twitter, I noticed that if I tweeted something, 3/5 of the time I was complaining about something. That’s a lot of unnecessary negative energy. After a lot of self evaluation. I deleted my Instagram, Twitter, and Vine. I immediately noticed that I didn’t even miss Twitter and Vine. What I probably missed the most about Instagram was being able to look up a new guy one of my friend’s was talking to, to see what he looked like. But after a couple of months I got over it.

About a year ago I got a Snapchat. I don’t really put much on my story, but I use it more as a form of communication. Sometimes it’s more fun to send goofy pictures to your friends rather than just text them. Then, over this past summer I attended a journalism conference in Washington DC and a StuCo workshop. Between those two events I made a lot of friends from all over Texas and the rest of the country. After much encouraging, I redownloaded Twitter. I get on it maybe three times a week and am very conscious about what I tweet.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that through having social media, then deleting it, then redownloading it again, is that I learned how to use it in moderation. I learned that I would much rather put my phone down when I’m with people I care about or when I’m somewhere new, but sometimes sharing what you’re up to with your friends is okay. I don’t want to miss what’s going on in the real world around me, but the digital world isn’t all bad either.

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Mansfield High School Online Newspaper
My Relationship with Social Media