Kicking social media to the curb

Hannah Kase, Online Editor-in-Chief

When walking through the halls of Madison, students with eyes glued to the screen of their smartphones is a common sight. Some students on their way to lunch could be refreshing Instagram and Twitter, while another on their way to math is scrolling through their Snapchat. Regardless of the platform, the majority of students at Madison use social media. According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2015, 71 percent of teens use more than one social networking site. The minority of teens that do not use any social media have their own reasons as to why they stay offline and how they think this benefits them.

According to Maria Sarantis (’19), social media is an added stressor to teens’ lives, and she benefits from not using it because she does not have to deal with the extra stress.

Without spending time on social media, more hours of the day are left for homework and other priorities like family, friends, and extracurriculars.

“I stopped using social media because I needed to get my grades up,” Jack Galbraith (’18) said. “I have a lot more time on my hands now that I’m not wasting it going through feeds.”

For Jack Ruszkowski (’17), a wake up call was required before he decided to stop using his social media accounts.

“I was playing on a soccer team with these guys, and I found out that two of them were going to Europe to play professionally,” Ruszkowski said. “When I heard this I realized how much time I was wasting on social media, and that day I deleted all the networking apps I had because I could be spending that time getting things done.”

While staying offline can help with time management and stress, it also means missing out on some things. A significant amount of communication and culture revolves around social media. Caitlyn Harthun (’18) explained how sometimes she is not informed of reminders like spirit days and is not always up to date on trending online jokes.

Despite the negative side, Harthun believes that having real conversations or even texting to share ideas outweighs social media because it feels like a true relationship, rather than just putting information online.
“Ultimately, [social media] makes people so reviewing of themselves and everyone else,” Oliver Hopkins (’18) said. “It isn’t a bad thing but there is nothing like face-to-face communication.”