November 15, 2019

SMHS Mateobotics Gears Up for the Season -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Leap from High School to College Sports -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mateo Comes up Short: 2019 Little Big Game -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Master of Self-Deprecating Humor -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

How Old is “Too Old” for Trick-or-Treating? -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We Need to Get Serious About Shootings -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How Boyan Slat Is Helping Solve The Great Pacific Garbage Patch -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Youtube’s Yankovic turned Chinese TikTok Star: Bart Baker -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#TeamTrees -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Varsity Football -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

CA Bill Pushes School Start Times Back -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Why the Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pros and Cons of Energy Drinks -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Movies to Watch during Halloween -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

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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