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Is social media an addiction?

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Is social media an addiction?

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Social media was designed to be like a slot machine. It was created to be entertaining, habit forming, and addictive. People often claim that they can’t live without checking their social media everyday. Since some people get anxious with the thought of living without social media, it’s intriguing to consider whether or not social media can be considered an addiction. Addiction can cause conflict, mood-changes and withdrawal symptoms; does social media have the same effect? We conducted a survey at Pinckney recently and interviewed our school’s tech teacher Mr. Ozias to see whether we can even consider placing social media under the category of an addiction.

400 people responded to the survey and we got some surprising results. The top three social media apps that students at Pinckney use are Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. The majority of people who took the survey (34%) claimed that they use social media 2-3 hours per day. Strangely enough, 43% of people said that social media is not important to them, and 60% said they could go a week or more without it. It’s fairly interesting that many people would spend such a significant amount of time per day on social media, but don’t consider it important to them. If social media isn’t a necessity to most people, than what is it? Our interview with Mr. Ozias helped us answer that question.

“Addiction is a fairly narrowly defined clinical term and I don’t know if social media usage hits the definition of addiction. I think it becomes a habit,” Ozias said. “I think it becomes, in some respects, a lazy habit where it’s just easier to just go check my social media than to do this thing I actually want to do. I also think that for some kids it becomes an obsession.” It seems likely that social media has just become a distraction for teens in this day and age. It distracts us when we wake up, when we’re at school, and before we go to bed.

“[Social media] changes what we value,” Ozias said. Most people don’t realize how much of our lives social media has taken over. It has become an easy escape, something that can keep us busy almost instantly. Social media is time consuming and also detrimental because it has replaced things that we’d normally do in our free time, like going outside and socializing with people face to face. It’s nothing but a time killer, something that can help us get through the day without boredom. Not to say that social media is 100% evil since it does help us stay connected, but people need to learn how to use it in moderation.

After assessing all of our information, it seems evident that social media is not an addiction, but is a bad habit. We use it to kill time, but if social media isn’t important to us, we should spend our time doing more meaningful things. There are always books to read, people to meet, things to see, and places to go. Your posts may always exist on social media, but moments in your life do not stay forever.

 

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About the Writers
Shae Eckles, Writer

Shae Eckles is a sophomore at Pinckney High School, and she is very excited to be on the PHS Connected staff. In her free time, she draws and paints, plays...

Riley Lange, Writer

Riley is a sophomore at Pinckney High School. She is on the Varsity swim team and archery team. In her free time, Riley enjoys photography, hiking, and...

Diana Beasley, Writer

Diana Beasley is a sophomore at Pinckney Community High school, and is super excited to be be part of the PHS Connected staff. She likes to draw, paint,...

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Is social media an addiction?