Nearly everyone has it and, at this point, it’s almost impossible to live without.
According to statista.com, 81 percent of the U.S. population has a social media profile, which is up 57 percentage points from a decade ago.
“It helps us keep in touch better but I think in general, people are less social because of it,” Ferris mechanical engineering senior Matt Hawkes said.
Many students have admitted that social media has become time-consuming, taking up hours of their day. In the UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute’s annual survey of freshmen in 2016, 40.9 percent of students reported using social media for at least six hours per week, which is up almost 14 percentage points from 2014.
“I feel like when you’re bored, you just do it,” Ferris pre-pharmacy sophomore Erica Foote said. “I lost my phone for a couple weeks and I just felt like I had no idea what was going on.”
Out of 48 Ferris students asked, 23 said that the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is check their phone and social media.
“I think it’s made us more aware of other people’s opinions and how someone always has an opinion of you,” Ferris dental hygiene freshman Kirsten Hey said. “So it’s sort of made our generation more self-conscious.”
Research has shown that there is an association between social media use and depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues and increased suicide risk, according to the University of Melbourne’s National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.
In a study done by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2017, it was found that young adults with high social media use seemed to feel more socially isolated than those with lower social media use.
Hey admitted that she doesn’t think she has the best mental health and that social media has contributed to that fact.
“If I see my friends posting pictures and hanging out without me, it makes me sad but if I see my family posting a picture it makes me happy,” Hey said.
When people use social media, they give up real life connections for interactions through a screen, explained Hawkes.
“It’s just you and your screen and you kind of block out everything else,” Hawkes said. “We’re all just sitting here on our phones, not interacting.”
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