November 19, 2018

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Parkland Shooting -

Friday, March 2, 2018

California Flu Crisis -

Friday, March 2, 2018

‘Rapping’ Up the Grammy Awards -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

¿Cuál Será el Futuro de DACA? -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marcus Peters traded to the Rams -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 Upcoming Movies -

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Instagram-Worthy Desserts of San Francisco -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Upcoming Season of Baseball -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Black History Month -

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther Review -

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Destructive Culture of Social Media -

Friday, February 23, 2018

Badminton season launches into action! -

Friday, February 23, 2018

LimeBike Takes Over! -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

All Star Weekend Highlights -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chinese New Year Brought to SMHS -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

San Mateo Volleyball Season Kicks Off -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Van Jones Show:Jay-Z -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Destructive Culture of Social Media

Social media: it’s become so popular that it’s extremely rare to find someone without an account on any social platform. Everyone uses it, and it has taken over our daily lives. As much as we all love scrolling through our endless feed and flexing for the ‘gram, social media has a lot of downsides: and it’s not just our parents scolding us about it.

Real research has been done, showing that there are lots of signs of addiction. Harvard neuroscientists Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell at Harvard performed a study where participants were put under an fMRI scanner, and were given three choices. One, talk about their opinions and attitudes, two, judge another person and three, take some trivia: and they all cost a sum of money to do so. Participants chose to talk about themselves or to judge another person, and they paid money for it, similar to behaviors observed in drug addicts. In addition, the fMRI showed that the part of the brain that is activated when taking cocaine, was also activated during the experiment, according to Huffington Post.

Many have personally felt these effects. One may notice it when laying in bed all day, just scrolling through Instagram for hours on end, posting on a private ‘spam’ account, looking for other posts to like, or maybe on Snapchat, keeping up a lengthy list of streaks. Social media can sometimes make your mind go blank, and all of your productivity go out the window. But, one week, I did in fact decide to take a break, since I felt like I wasn’t getting anything done and seeing other people’s perfect images of their lives was draining my view of my own.

Once I took that break, it was immediately difficult. I couldn’t check any of my social media since I had disabled them or logged out, and I was having withdrawals. I was confused as to what I should do for the day, since I was so used to just going on social media. A few days later, after I had gotten used to it,  I realized that I felt a bit lighter, more energetic and satisfied with life- and of course like I didn’t have to look at my phone for notifications every two minutes. Procrastination wasn’t a problem as much as it was before. Becoming more productive and not comparing myself to others seemed to be some of the great benefits I got out of taking a break, and I suggest other people should try it as well to experience this. But why?

“Social media serves up a plethora of ways to compare our lot with that of our ‘friends’/people we follow. One of the biggest the risks to our well-being is comparing ourselves to others. Whether it’s waist size, home, job, relationship, level of core strength, it’s a corrosive yet powerful drive for us to want to measure ourselves (sometimes literally!) against others.” says integrative psychotherapist Hilda Burke. Finding myself and other students being dissatisfied with their life because they see others on social media is a very common occurrence. But, only the picture-perfect moments are shown on social media- no one wants to see the dark parts of life. In the same article, psychologist Carson Williams elaborates on that idea. “Small breaks from social media will give your brain a much needed rest from the intruding distractions that constantly fight for attention. You will feel more alert and focused and will have more energy to devote elsewhere- from finishing the big project at work ahead of schedule, spending quality time with your family or fitting in some exercise.” Students should give these breaks a chance, whether it’s for a day, a week or even a month, so that they too can experience these benefits.

Essentially, everything is fine, as long as it’s in moderation. So, Bearcats, take a few social media breaks now and then, and take time to be aware of what’s happening around you.

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