SMC: Social Media Consumption

Overeating can cause somebody to gain weight, whereas undereating can make someone lose weight.

But each option has consequences.

If people overeat, they might become overweight or obese. And if people lose too much weight, it can lead to illness and mental problems.

As you can see, neither options are healthy diets. It’s better to eat a wholesome selection of food, rather than to become overweight or sick.

You might be wondering – what on Earth does food have to do with the overuse of social media? 

The answer is simple – both are unhealthy if they are overused.

Take a minute to look around wherever you’re sitting or standing. After you get your bearings, count how many people are on their phones.

It’s a lot, right?

Throughout high school, every single time I sat down for lunch with my friends, I was mesmerized about how little we verbally communicated with each other.

Instead of talking about “Horizon: Zero Dawn” and how dabbing – don’t get me started on that one – was getting old, we commented on our friend’s new relationship status and “laughed-out-loud” at the latest meme – all through the magical power of phones, not friendship.

Nowadays, people are fixated on their self worth, and in order to get that message across to others, they overuse social media to the furthest extent. 

Selfies, status updates, and frequent up-to-date mental health posts are the most common ways social media users try to get themselves known to a wider group of friends.

Joy LaGrutta, coordinator of Alcohol and Drug Education, said, “Social media encourages students to communicate with friends and family through a handheld device as opposed to talking or having a face-to-face conversation.” 

“Face to face is more authentic and genuine and people can misread or misunderstand communication on social media,” she added.

Just like consuming food, people get fed up with unhealthy thinking habits. In this case, the “unhealthy” thoughts are the belief everyone is living the perfect life compared to them.

In high school, I was the exact same way. I believed if people liked my posts, then it would increase my popularity.

Also, I thought a “swag-tastic” Facebook post – as I thought of it back in high school – would guarantee me more likes and views. But that was not the case at all.

In fact, the cooler I tried to be, the fewer likes I got.

“People are seeing an alerted highlight reel versus everyday normal struggles,” on social media, said Pamela Lemberg, coordinator of Health Education. “It can contribute to students feeling that they’re more lonely and isolated than everyone else.”

I became so obsessed with how people thought of my social media profile, I started losing sleep over it.

“Why is everyone’s life so much more exciting than mine?” I would contemplate for hours upon end. 

People’s lives seemed so much better than mine, due to their smiling faces and cool captions in their photos.

It was only after I quit daily social media use, that I began to realize people’s lives weren’t better than mine. In fact, sometimes quite the opposite.

What we perceive isn’t always what we know. So, I advise you to put down your phone – or newspaper – for just a second and talk to the person across from you.

After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

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