Beaconsfield High School

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A World without Social Media

By Kathryn, Hatty and Daisy from Beaconsfield High School

Can you imagine a world without social media and technology? Our generation is obsessed with checking our feeds and looking down at our phones. Socialising in person has become rare and also awkward because we are fixated by a screen in front of us. When our phones ping, we get a rush of excitement rather than the excitement caused by the outside world. Is this how it should be? Should our children grow up believing that this is the right thing, watching their parents refresh and refresh their homepage? However, some might say these new apps and websites have brought us closer as a community, texting or messaging friends can be done in a few seconds. Whatever is going on in the world is known via all of our social media, not through silly rumours spread by others. There are so many good things about this type of socialising, especially for teens as they seem to spend around 44.5 hours a week in front of a screen*.

Phones and electronic devices have ‘taken over’ family life; only 12% of teens aged 13 to 17 say they have no mobile phone of any type**. These figures are quite worrying for the future generation if we keep progressing like this. If parents can’t entertain their children without an electronic device then the child wouldn’t be able to experience the fresh air of the world outside their door. Family game night has been overtaken by posting pictures of their dinner, enjoying the view is replaced by making sure they get the right angle of a selfie, and no phones at the table has been replaced with sitting in their room talking to strangers.

However, these social media sites also have a lot of advantages. Students can catch up with homework through other students on certain websites and ask questions through their phones about school or work. Without these devices, there is much less understanding of work that needs to be done, as some social media can tell us vital information. For example, some classes have a group chat on a social media site where they can post pictures of homework that people have missed. Another good thing is that people can be brought together by social media. A 13 year old student from Beaconsfield High School told us, “I met my best friend through social media!” This clearly shows how people are united due to an account on a website.

In comparison to past generations, our generation has changed entirely, mostly due to the development of technology and social media sites. The impact of social media is so huge that it is hard to say whether it is a good or bad thing as it has had both positive and negative effects. Overall, we think that the increasing influence of social media is inevitable and can’t be eliminated, but sooner or later we need to find a way of using our mouths instead of our thumbs to talk to each other on a daily basis. So look up from your phone, look up from your computer, and talk to your friends and family. You might find you like it.

*source: http://ikeepsafe.org/be-a-pro/balance/too-much-time-online/

**source: Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 | Pew Research Center