See, we humans have had plenty of disagreements over the generations. Fighting amongst ourselves isn’t a new thing but, in fact, it is far more common than us getting along as God instructed us to. But there is one thing across the past few generations; we have all gained something akin to an addiction—social media. Scrolling through Instagram reels or Tik Tok for hours is something plenty of us have fallen into before. Social media has become an integral part of our culture, probably too integral.
The sheer amount of time we spend on social media can be appalling. According to a report by the Pew Research Centre, 69% of adults in the United States use social media, and the average American spends around 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media platforms. This translates to approximately 16 hours per week or 32 days per year spent on social media. The amount of our day that we spend on social media is due to a multitude of factors, like age and gender. As younger generations, we spend more time on social media, and facts also back this up. A survey by Common Sense Media found that teenagers aged 13 to 18 spend an average of nine hours daily on social media platforms. This contrasts with older generations, with adults aged 65 and above spending an average of 30 minutes daily on social media.
The impact of social media on our mental health has been a topic of much debate and research. A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that limiting social media use to 30 minutes per day led to significant reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms among college students. Another Royal Society for Public Health study found that social media use was associated with increased anxiety, depression, poor sleep quality, and body image issues. Despite all the concerns and studies showing the harm of social media, we are slow to change; the rates people spend on social media have been increasing over time – some as a sense of obligation or addiction of some kind. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that 65% of Americans feel that taking a break from technology would suit their mental health, but only 28% do so.
In conclusion, though social media is critical and helpful to the human race, it has begun to take control of us instead of the other way around. Instead of constantly using social media as entertainment, why not use it as a way of education – watch videos online that can help you with hobbies or interests? Also, parents, please don’t call my name if you want to limit your child’s social media intake by taking their phone or laptop. I am merely a messenger. Thank you for your time.