The Student News Site of South Oldham High School

The Dragon's Tale

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Amy Michaud, Staff Journalist

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The most recent trend in social media is to go live. This phenomenon means that not only are teenagers obsessed with taking a picture of every moment, they can now instantly share what they are doing whenever they are doing it. Going live warrants social media to completely consume our attention. Instead of going live, teenagers need to go and live.

As I sat at lunch a few weeks ago, I noticed everyone else at my table having a very strange conversation. Nothing about the content of their conversation was out of the ordinary, but rather how they decided to communicate: each were looking at one another’s face on a group video chat app instead of simply looking up at each other.

I was struck by the idea that a group of people–all really close friends–decided they would rather look at a digital version of  each other  rather than converse face to face. The realization became clear: technology and social media overuse is rampant in my generation.

Many South Oldham High School (SOHS) students love social media and the ability to communicate in a timely manner that it provides, but as for the effects of social media, the bad comes with the good.

While social media is a nice form of entertainment, it teeters dangerously close to taking over lives instead of being an advancement for society.

No matter how enjoyable social media is, it is the primary reason teenagers are on their phones in excess.

Social media often draws us to our phones too much, pulling us away from those with whom we are fortunate enough to be with in person. Teenagers need to learn the balance of technology and friends when they are surrounded with both.

“It doesn’t really bother me when someone checks their phone really quick because I understand that a lot of times it’s out of habit. It does bother me, though, if someone just completely stops communicating with me to get on their phone; that’s kind of rude,” senior Maddy Wesley said.

Because of social media, current teenagers are more excited about publishing the paramount moments of their life than they are about living them.

“Social media definitely makes us use our phones more. I think that is bad because it distracts us from what’s actually going on in the world around [us] because we’re so absorbed in it,” sophomore Alaina Scott said.

While it is true that teenagers would be on their phones without social media, it is the driving force that leads them to be on their phone in abundance.

“I don’t think social media is the sole culprit to the excessive use of phone. Social media definitely adds to the problem though,” senior Caleb Clark said.

In fact, according to Dr. Mercola, 13-year-olds may check social media one hundred times a day.

Technology can be a burden or a tool, and that is all up to the person using it. There is no reason to regret these amazing advancements simply because some people have no self control.

People must learn how to take advantage of the genius that is their phone while also appreciating the world and people around them.
“Something this small can’t control our lives, emotions, and actions. We must remember what it’s like to exist without them–what it’s like to interact, to have fun, to LIVE,” sophomore Johnny Zelenak said.

In order to “LIVE” teenagers must set their phone down and look around them. This might difficult for some, but well worth the hardship.

“I challenge anyone reading this to just turn it off to have a good time. Live a bit; it’s better to experience a moment through your memories rather than an Instagram picture, a Twitter post, or a Snapchat story,” Zelenak said.

Despite parental efforts to minimize the millennial’s time on social media, the overuse still persists. Teenagers need to learn how to exist in a world where you can like things without “double-tapping” them.

I do not want to grow up and realize I spent so much time trying to make my life look appealing on social media that I forgot to live a fulfilling life.

In order to combat this media obsessed mentality, teenagers must be willing to step away from their phone and into reality.
But understanding the difference between living and posting is only step number one. Social media does not need to be completely avoided, but the significance it holds in our lives needs to be diminished

I realize that cell phones are a tool to make life easier; however, they are only an extremely helpful tool when used in moderation. If we can learn to use our phones instead of abusing them, they can continue to be one of the most revolutionary advancements of our time–not our demise.

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