Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

social media followers GIF by The Orchard Films

Social media is something I’ve become more passionate about the older I get. I don’t mean that I use it more or less than before, I just believe it’s sooo important how current generations and future generations use it. Five years ago, If someone asked me “do you think social media is bad or unhealthy?” I would have said “no” without a doubt. I would have said that because I was only 13 years old but also because social media isn’t what it used to be.

From my experience, social media can definitely have a negative impact on an individual. On the other hand, I truly think it’s the greatest innovation possibly of all time. Social media (especially today) has so much power or rather it gives anyone with access to it so much power. To me, that’s amazing. The hard thing about social media is finding a balance between healthy and damaging.

These are the cons of social media based on my experience. First, It has the capability to create a strange form of anxiety. I’m not an expert and I’m sure there’s a scientific reason for this but something about constantly (I mean CONSTANTLY) seeing what other people’s ~glorified~ lives looks like creates anxiety. This doesn’t happen to everyone but surely I’m not the only person who’s experienced this phenomenon. Comparison is almost impossible not to do when you’re on social media and maybe that plays a part in the anxiousness it creates.

This is mostly dangerous for the younger generations. Although the effects of social media can affect anyone, older generations weren’t born into the era and they usually aren’t as exposed to it therefore its impact isn’t as great. I also see social media taking a part in depression.

A lot of times, anxiety and depression go hand in hand but not all the time. Studies have shown that negative social media experiences are linked to depression as seen in this USN article. For these reasons and so many more, I strongly think that we should regulate our social media intake or at least make sure our intake is healthy.

Even after thinking about the negative effects that social media can have, I still think the pros outweigh the cons. The way social media can unite people and inform the public is extremely moving. Whether it’s through hashtags activism like #metoo, #bringbackourgirls, #alsicebucketchallenge, #Ferguson, #prayfor____, or just instant access to world news, Social media can unite.

Some say that social media is part of why the world is so divided and I can agree with that. But, I also believe that if it has the power to divide, people have the power to use it in a way to unite. Users need to educate themselves and be careful what they put out there so that it’s full positive potential can be shown.

I encourage you not to believe the first thing you see on the internet but to do your own research and tell others to do the same. Part of the reason why I’m going into media is because I want to learn more about how to make social media a tool instead of an issue. The internet and social media aren’t going anywhere so It’s our job to equip ourselves and others on how to handle it!

 

College: Staying Concentrated, Calm, and Collected

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I’m almost one month into college and the time is absolutely flying by. These past few weeks have taught me so much not just academically but about myself. More specifically my work ethic. I want to share some tips and ideas that i’ve been trying my best to stick with so that I don’t feel super overwhelmed with the workload.

Most people going into their first year of college from high school will start to feel the weight of all the work build up. My wake up call came when in the first week of school I already had hours of reading to do. Balancing being a full time student while maintaining a social life can be a struggle. Add a part time or full time job to that mix and you can have a full blown mess (not even including family obligations, clubs and organizations, etc.).

Even if you’re not the type of person to carry around a planner with highlighters, sticky notes, and multi-colored pens; you should have a system of organization. As students, due dates and deadlines are all over the place so I can’t imagine relying on your memory to keep things in order.

These are 3 tips and ideas that could reduce the amount of stress you feel throughout the semester. I’m not a study expert or the ideal student by ANY means. I do know that so far, I’ve found comfort in these things and maybe you will too.

#1- Priorities

Keeping your priorities in line is the first step to success. Without priorities, you might commit to too many things and not reach your full potential in any of them. It’s a struggle sometimes when there’s something much more fun going on and you’re in your room doing homework or at work. One way of thinking about it is that your priority should always be the thing that could potentially cause the most stress. Say a paper is due on Wednesday, don’t put it off because you’ll just end up stressing! I’m definitely preaching to myself on this one but its important and something i’m working on.

#2- Take time to relax 

Taking the time to unwind is so healthy. When we don’t take time to relax and refresh is when the anxieties begin to creep in. I’ve found that finding a relaxing, quiet place on campus in between classes is helpful. Even if you are studying or doing homework, being alone in a quiet space works wonders. Another way I unwind is spending time with my family. If you have family nearby, spending time with them can really take your mind off of school or whatever else is going on. If you don’t have family that lives close enough to visit, give someone a call and tell them how you’re doing. Lastly, Exercising is such a great stress reliever… if you’re into that. If not, I encourage you to try it even if that just means going on a walk.

#3- Its the little things!

Small things like taking quality notes, putting things in your calendar, leaving yourself enough time to get from one place to another, and going to class usually make the biggest difference. To be a successful student doesn’t mean you need to go above and beyond and try to outshine everyone else or do a bunch of extra work. The little things that seem obvious make the biggest impact if you are consistent.