The Responsibility of Social Media


Menlo students check their various social media accounts on the quad. Staff Photo: Kate Hammond.

Kate Hammond, Spread Editor

As a teenager in 2018, social media has become a part of my daily routine. Mindlessly checking my Snapchat, Instagram, or iMessages has become second nature to me. Along with the pressure from school and extracurriculars, I feel that I have a responsibility to continually check my social media in order to keep up with the virtual life I’ve created behind the screen.

One of the major effects of teenagers constantly using social media is the increasing lack of engagement in face to face communication. Learning about who a person is through social media is a false representation of who they are because what they post is a highlight reel that does not give an accurate picture of what their life is really like. There is less vulnerability communicating on Snapchat or over text, causing our generation to miss out on building deep relationships and learning critical social skills.

The responsibility of social media takes up so much time in our lives, in fact if I added up the time that I spend on my phone it would be embarrassing. The time that I spend deciding which photo to post on Instagram could be spent  hanging out with my little brother or getting ahead on school work. The time that I spend taking countless meaningless selfies responding to my friends on Snapchat would add up to more sleep and less distraction. This added pressure to take care of my accounts is detrimental to all other aspects of my life.

Another major impact of social media is the added pressure to always be “on” and present your best. For example, at every event that I go to with my friends or a vacation with my family, there is always a good portion of time taking photos for Instagram. Personally, I love taking photos and keeping memories, but there is a certain extent were it becomes obsessive, where a bad photo can ruin a mood or disallow me to enjoy an event. The responsibility that our generation feels to document everything and everywhere we go hurts our chance to enjoy the moment and be present in our lives.

Everyone in high school already has enough to worry about with school and extracurriculars. Although I love social media and sharing photos with friends, I think that the responsibility teenagers feel has turned into a obsession that is slowly taking over each aspect of our lives.