Millennials+Generation Z= Social Media Addiction?

As a part of the millennial generation, I’ve been immersed in a world that has been dominated by wireless communication. For the past eighteen years, I’ve grown accustomed to being surrounded by social media and thus know nothing different. Social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are most likely to be found on anyone’s phone that’s under the age of twenty-five. This especially holds true on our campus. It is impossible to walk around without seeing someone glued to their phone within a few feet radius. I have to admit I am also one of those people too. I can easily spend at least two hours a day on social media and at times for even a longer duration. What exactly draws us to social media though? As our world technologically progresses, so does our desire to keep up. We are also surrounded by an atmosphere where social pressure is rampant. If someone didn’t have any form of social media, my immediate reaction would be that they need to get with the times. It is this exact way of thinking that society has influenced us with. I think that social media can be useful, informative, and fun a lot of the time. I use social media to send funny photos, keep tabs on my friends, stay connected with the news, and spew out my thoughts to the world. By utilizing social media, I have also found it as a great way to avoid potentially awkward situations by perusing through Facebook or another application. What a lot of people have a tendency of overlooking though is that it can also come with severe drawbacks. Social media has become a major addiction for a lot of people. So much so that this addiction can be comparable with the likes of being hooked on crack cocaine. We often forget that our need for connection has made us overly dependent on social media. If social media has this effect, then it has the power to control us. It is truly remarkable in the sense that it can consume our youth. This is because it’s easy to become lost in the allure social media creates. Sometimes, we can even go as far to experience withdrawal symptoms when we’re deprived of social media. According to a study conducted by Cornell University, those who had a perceived addiction to Facebook after going cold turkey were more likely to revert back to their old habits. Social media had become so engrained in these people’s lives to the extent that they would automatically search for social media without even thinking about it. In addition, according to a 2010 study conducted by the Kaiser Foundation young U.S. citizens spend more than 7 ½ hours per day using media. If the youth of today spend this much time using media, then we should reevaluate our focuses and become a more active part of society. As hard as it is to resist social media, the reason behind it may be more simple than we think. In accordance to a study done by UCLA, people desire having mental breaks throughout the day and look towards social interaction in order to do so. Next time you are looking for a nice mental break, lay off the phone and check out something else instead.

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1 thought on “Millennials+Generation Z= Social Media Addiction?

  1. Marissa Dorros

    This post caught my attention because the number of hours that the study claims that young U.S. citizens spend on social media was much larger than I expected. I know from experience how consuming social media can be, and I’ve even experienced some withdrawal symptoms when trying to limit my social media use. One of my high school teachers always stressed how bad it is that although we have endless information available to us in the palm of our hands, we instead use our smartphones to send selfies to our friends. Although I believe that using social media to some extent is a good thing, too much of it can be destructive. Some studies even link heavy social media use with depression.

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