Striking a Balance: Student Life and Social Media
It wasn’t until a long ago that student life was mostly a world of textbooks, notes, and spending time with classmates (whether on campus or outside). Anything beyond these was mostly deemed unnecessary or “not worth the time” for the youth. In the last few decades, this isn’t the scenario anymore. With almost every aspect of life constantly revolving around social media, unbound access to information, rejuvenating entertainment and mind-blowing infotainment, and the added thrill of staying connected with a global audience, it is obvious why trends have changed over the years.
Life has been narrowed down to the ‘world wide web’ where even solitude has its way out. There is always something for every occasion, for every personality, for every query. No wonder why people prefer to stay hooked to their computers and phones! And with social media platforms extending their purpose from business interactions to everyday communication, things have got all the more nuanced.
When seen from various perspectives, it remains unarguably justified that yes, social media has its many advantages. The question, however, is, how essential is it for you?
Engagement is necessary, especially in a technology-driven world where much seems to happen through the internet. And it’s not wrong to be a part of the “social media crowd”. But then, it is essential to be able to discern the difference between quality and quantity.
In a recent post in their company blog titled: “Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?” social media giant Facebook put forth this opinion:
“In general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward…On the other hand, actively interacting with people — especially sharing messages, posts, and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions — is linked to improvements in well-being.
And that’s precisely the point! What you consume and how much you consume becomes a strong point in enabling you to stay in the right frame of mind, especially during your growing years. Uncertainty regarding emotions, personal choices, and decisions or the “need” to stay at the top of the game has increasingly driven a lot of many to reach out recklessly to social media. Writing posts or commenting on each other’s posts can seem like a great way to communicate but does it really do that? Does expressing emotions over posts really help one find a soothing balm for those inner conflicts?
Staying engaged is necessary but with whom and for what purpose is something that everyone needs to decide. Meaningful interaction is always beneficial but how genuine are these interactions is something that is definitely worth pondering upon. It has remained a major area of discussion for a while, with experts across the globe commenting on the need to practice caution, especially by the youth whose eagerness to explore the world can often be used as bait by many. Similarly, not being able to post the “right” kind of status updates or remaining on the sideline while your peers continue posting posts that reach a thousand likes can often become a reason for stress and hamper one’s sense of self-confidence. Remaining genuine and not just flattering is a lesson we all tend to forget at times. This further points out that being able to understand that virtual reality is only a part of the actual scenario is something that should be realized by every individual.
Sharing with the world as a whole is a brilliant opportunity, and indeed much can be learned and accomplished through this domain. Yet, remembering to stay rooted in life in its simplest aspect has a joy that will always remain paramount. Bringing in the sense of oneness and connectivity through community building, sharing and engaging in discussions, and staying connected with loved ones in faraway places is a great way to strengthen the real purpose of social media. Remembering birthdays and anniversaries, organizing events, or being aware of the world around us is how active engagement happens and not simply by resorting to “hashtags” and “likes”
This is not to discourage anyone from venturing forth and making new discoveries but to feel more vibrant with life in its many facets. Self-affirmation need not happen through others’ opinions just as it need not happen through a misguided understanding of the self that’s based on tags or likes.
With its many perks social media can definitely be amazing but forget not to steer away from its negative aspects. So yes, keep exploring and finding ways to play a more meaningful role in life.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.
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