In this time of social isolation, connecting to the outside world is more important than ever. Consumers rely on social media for health and safety updates, entertainment and a way to interact with friends and family. On average, people around the world spend about 144 minutes on social media a day. That is two hours and twenty four minutes. Teens, however, spend an average of 9 hours per day on social media according to Common Sense Media. About 2 hours a day on social media is recommended a day to be considered healthy.
Social media has been a way to entertain ourselves while being stuck in our houses. It has also allowed us to stay up to date with all information regarding the coronavirus. Since the number of hours being on social media has skyrocketed due to quarantine, does this make social media a blessing or a curse?
Social media does have a way of sucking you in and making you spend all your time on it, but it does have some benefits. Without our phones and access to the most popular social networking sites, we wouldn’t be able to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world, we wouldn’t be able to connect with others and we wouldn’t be able to do online school.
This virus has caused most schools worldwide to turn to remote learning. Without social media, things such as Zoom, email, and Google classroom wouldn’t be available to us. These platforms allow us to connect to teachers and continue our education. Phones allow us to send messages, FaceTime and have access to hundreds of other forms of communication which allow us to keep in touch with others so that we can still have an education and have contact with our friends and family.
Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Snapchat, Facebook, and Pinterest and the biggest social media sites of 2020 according to SEJ. These popular social media sites are mostly targeted towards teens. Since there are so many social media sites, it is easy for teens to get sucked in and spend most of their time scrolling through endless timelines. These apps are designed to be addictive and that is why it is so hard to just shut it off and do something else. Social media has increased chances of mental issues for teens and pairing that with quarantine, teens are more encouraged to spend their time on these sites while they are stuck at home. The same goes for adults with sites such as Facebook and Linkedin. These sites are more targeted towards adults and they can be very addictive.
It is very important for people to balance the amount of time they spend on social media. Studies show that increased screen time can lead to a number of physical and mental problems. Increased screen time can also cause eye strain, neck strain, obesity, anxiety and depression. To avoid this from happening, you can take frequent breaks and do something productive such as reading, work or schoolwork, or just simply take a walk. These things will come into effect after a long period of time spent looking at a screen. Since none of us know how long this quarantine will be, it is important to balance the time that is spent on social networking and just screens in general.
Quarantine has caused the amount of time people spend on social media to increase, but if there is a balance between the time you spend on social media and the amount of time spent on productive things, social media is not necessarily a curse. It is very important that there is balance so that you can stay happy, healthy and productive while being stuck inside.