Lindsay Keener |Staff Writer
When’s the last time you had a real conversation? An authentic face-to-face conversation without interruptions from Twitter or Instagram? If it’s hard to remember, here’s your wakeup call: It’s time to put down your phone.
I will be the first to admit that my phone is almost always on me and, at times, can be a distraction from important tasks. It’s almost second nature to scroll on Twitter when I’m bored or click through Snapchat when I’m waiting for my online textbook to load. If I know anything about the members of my generation, I know I am not the only one with this problem.
A lot like any problem, one must first recognize that there is an issue at hand. Are you stressing over posting the right picture or status? If it doesn’t get enough attention, do you delete it? Do you spend more time on social media than you do getting fresh air? If a person cannot invest in themselves, in their studies or in their progression because of social media, something has to give. More often than not, that “something” is social media.
I’d be foolish to expect anyone in their 20s to let go of social media. Like with any habit or addiction, it can be hard to quit social media and go cold turkey. It’s one of the many ways we connect with our peers and stay up to date with the world around us. Each platform allows its users the opportunity to voice their opinions and share them with friends and family. With all of these upsides, there’s no need to be conscious of the time spent on social media apps, right? Wrong.
While social media has a number of advantages, its disadvantages can be quite damaging to your overall health. Continuous swiping and scrolling on your phone can result in sore thumbs; if not handled quickly, it can become carpal tunnel syndrome.
The blue light in phone screens has the potential to ruin your eyes if you spend too long on looking at your device. Phone use before bed makes falling asleep much harder and leaves you feeling tired when you wake in the morning.
While you don’t need to let go of your social media applications completely, you can take a break. Schedule some time for yourself away from your phone. Spend the minutes, or hours, you’d usually dedicate to Twitter to catching up with friends or doing homework. Look for those summer internships you keep putting off or call your mother and ask about her day. You’re only going to live this day once. Use it wisely.
In the second month of the new year, let’s make a pact to spend less time on our phones and more time making memories. Social media is meant to be a platform for love and laughter, not damage and distractions.
Are you up for the task?