News, memes and show-stopping selfies make up much of the content on social media platforms. However, some students are choosing to disengage from the online chaos.
In the age of technology, it is rare and difficult to not operate on various social media platforms. While social media consumes the social and professional lives of students, Nick Williams, mass communications junior, rarely utilizes it.
Although Williams is enrolled in the electronic media program, he does not regularly check social media. Williams said he logs into his Facebook, the only form of social media he has, once a month. Williams keeps Facebook as a means of professional use.
Williams said he created his Facebook when he was younger, in the age of growing pop culture surrounding social media. One he began to utilize it, he found he was underwhelmed.
“It’s really just the same joke and same posts showing the best sides of people’s lives,” Williams said.
Tristan Fournier, dance sophomore, recently decided to take a break from social media and delete all of her accounts. She said taking a break from online outlets allotted more time to discover herself.
“Social media is filled with beautiful Instagram models that every girl aspires to look like,” Fournier said. “Not only does it cause envy, but it causes girls to acquire self-esteem issues.”
Fournier decided to create new social media accounts, only adding close friends and family. She has never felt better, and only creates and views posts that bring her happiness. She considered deleting her accounts permanently, but felt disconnected from her family.
“At this point in time, I feel like social media is something that cannot be ignored,” Fournier said.
Aimee Huckeba, a public relations sophomore, said she utilizes social media at least four hours a day. Although she wishes she used it less, every time she manages to delete an account she caves in and joins again.
“In this day and age, social media is a major tool used for all aspects of life,” Huckeba said. “It’s even used for advertising and getting consumers involved with companies.”
Huckeba said the internet allows customers to engage online with businesses in a non-threatening way because it is not face-to-face contact. She said social media provides a way to keep in touch with people who have moved away or gone a different direction in life.
“While you get to interact with these people and these companies, you actually lose that important human interaction,” Huckeba said.
Huckeba said she loses valuable time because of how many hours a day are spent on her phone. She’s often been drawn from studying to scroll through Instagram or Twitter, a habit she wishes to break.
Williams feels online communication gives an illusion of real interaction. He finds it ironic that a bus full of people may be bent over their phones, feeling a false sense of connection with those around them.
“I’m really interested in seeing where the consumption of social media takes us,” Williams said. “It could change a lot of things, even face-to-face interactions.”
Social media is an ever-growing, unstoppable force. Online platforms mark a pivotal moment for society, and students must juggle the pros and cons of it’s impact.