Opinion: Quitting social media

Neville Hardman is a sophomore magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at nhardma1@kent.edu.

Neville Hardman is a sophomore magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected]

Neville Hardman

Twelve snapchats, four Twitter notifications, three Facebook messages and one Instagram alert awaited me after I went 24 hours without using social media, and none of them were important.

We are a part of a society that depends on cellphones and even more on social media. These devices are used to keep connections with people for obvious benefits, but they become a problem when people begin favoring their screen more than face-to-face interactions.

During my day as a social media introvert, I found it to be one of the easiest, anxiety-free days this semester. It was some form of bliss not having to worry about grabbing my smartphone before heading out to get food or fuss around trying to connect to Wi-Fi when I was in another building.

My social skills were instantly revived as I engaged in a conversation that would have only been half-hearted if I had been reading what other people were up to rather than having my own moment.

This campus is an abyss of technology, flooded with people tapping out messages as they walk to class or scrolling through their newsfeed as they sit with friends. At some point, it became acceptable to ignore moments happening right in front of us to see what other people are doing online instead.

Pew Research Internet Project reports that 87 percent of all American adults use the Internet, and 57 percent use Facebook. In fact, 64 percent of all Facebook users visit every day.

More than half of users are part of at least one social network, and 58 percent have the ability to view it on their smartphone, which offers the temptation to check their page when they are placed in a social setting.

It has become a well-practiced ritual to spend time scanning updates about the people wandering in our social bubble, though this is usually met with good intent.

These websites connect us with friends that go to different schools and family that lives far away. Good and bad updates can be seen on a feed depending on how much a person posts as well as relationship statuses, photographs and more. It can be easy to get caught up just by clicking on someone’s page, but it should not be a reason to evade interaction or overlook the people you are with right now.

Networks like Facebook and Twitter are beautiful things that allow fast connection, but there are certain times when they need to be set aside to relish greater moments.

Use these websites when you are alone in your room instead of taking advantage of the people beside you and making them feel unimportant with your continuous tweeting.

Don’t be someone that doesn’t see something because you were too busy announcing irrelevance online. Things happen when you are staring into a sphere of statuses, and you are missing them.