Students Crave Social Media


Emily Hannah

Julianne Edge checks her social media status.

The infamous rise in social media has sparked debate throughout the world. Popular websites and applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are capable of ringing millennials’ bell and gaining their attention. With the simple use of these websites, citizens from young to old can share their personal information as they wish. However, many newcomer internet users lack the intelligence and experience to know the negative side of these social networks. From prepubescent teenagers to skyrocketing adults, the society behind the computer screen is often times unaware of the plight that is possible to unfold. Social media is always updating and alluring new prey into its vicinity, with first time college students becoming more and more involved in the fray. Social media has grown into a surging legacy that is dangerously addictive to first-time students across the globe — from posting pictures of a family pet to risque photos that are better left unseen, young first-time students are plagued with the desire to fit in.

Social media can influence young students in negative ways, such as pandering for attention and respect. In modern day society, teenagers and early college students alike are pressured to conform to today’s standards and expectations, leading many to be bullied and isolated from the public. The psychological standpoint behind this is the desire to be accepted —  to be greeted with open arms, not averted eyes. This idea can be converted into an even more serious matter that regularly shapes itself into the form of being another side of a person – conforming, even to the online world, to seek attention. This “reputation self” may lead students to performing unfledged acts, ranging from ingesting a cleaning agent to posing inappropriately in front of a mirror. Humankind all have different aspects and split sections they would prefer to hide behind closed doors, but at the end of the Facebook wall, they must accept themselves and not present themselves in tasteless ways.

First time students can easily become absorbed in social media as an escape from the outside world. It is evident that today’s young people hold a desire to belong. First-time college students that are pressured with the new and contrasting lifestyle changes may easily become overwhelmed, and slip into the depths of the internet. Some might argue that social media is only a positive beacon of light in this aspect — however, I disagree, as it has its downfalls. Diving into cyberspace allows many possibilities, such as meeting new friends and forming new beliefs. This is a clear coherent appeal to the media. Despite this, introductory college students can all too conveniently stumble and trip into the layers of code, struggling to emerge. As all great acts of escapism, there is always a catch. Addiction is easy to form, and students may stray from the college acts they are expected to perform. On occasion, severing ties from the internet is necessary to perform well in a college environment. It is the student’s responsibility to establish a fine line between free time and work and study, with social media being a clear priority.

Everything posted on the internet is eternal, allowing many students to feel pangs of regret and embarrassment. Even with various deletion features plastered upon websites like Facebook that are capable of scrubbing a profile clean, history is written upon the thick line of code. A student must aim to appear prim and proper both for professors and those in higher authority alike. It is a well known fact that scrapped and trashed photos, carefully imported to the recycle bin, may still linger both in the code of the internet or even another’s files. This encourages the young scholar to be even more careful of what they share, whether with strangers or friends. The popular app, Snapchat, is relished upon for delivering photos in a snap. With a limited timer, students can send images with various filters and symbols. Yet, multiple applications have been designed to manipulate the main appeal of the short-lived images. These include functions that allow the receiver  to save the image without the sender being contacted or notified. While minuscule, this goes to show how the internet is constantly testing the constraints which bars it. Hindrances such as these impose a threat among its users, especially those who crave brief and momentary attention. It is circumstances like these where the student may find it challenging to cleanse their acts on public networks. Today, mass deletions are an efficient tactic for incoming college students. Despite this, some wounds become faded scars that cannot be erased. A student can handpick posts to transfer from their mind to the keyboard, but at a possibly hazardous cost.

Social media is a two-sided coin that is easy to flip on its undesired angle. Some Facebook users can eerily stalk in the shadows, while others can stack post after post onto their profiles. No matter the route the user takes, they must always tread carefully. As a whole, social media is a gift that has allowed technology to further advance. But at the price of a ramen-munching college student, this gift can easily turn sour. Their studies can effortlessly turn into stacked towers of procrastination-inducing papers, and their bouts of activity can decrease, reducing their overall stamina and desire for outside life. The division between personal life and internet dabbles are essential in keeping the beginner college student’s growth intact. The positives of social media and the internet may coexist with the negatives, side by side. However, with the age range of college students in mind, the negatives can quickly outweigh the positives. It is the maturing students obligation to learn and understand the power of the networks they use everyday, not to fit in, but to fully comprehend the abilities at their fingertips.