By Phillip Martin

We live in a time when social media and innovative technology are part of our daily lives. As students, we need to protect ourselves from the dangers of being on social media excessively. There are benefits to social media, but it can be harmful, especially during school, causing distractions and taking attention away from social interactions.

The benefits of social media are community engagement, connecting with friends, and keeping up with clubs. Most clubs post their events on social media, like the Teen Council’s Movie Nights, Back to School Bash, and more. And sometimes during the summer, social media might be the only way to stay in touch with friends you don’t see every day at school.

There are negatives to social media as well. Teens can spend hours on Instagram or TikTok instead of studying or finishing homework, social media can negatively affect a student’s mental health and constant blue light exposure can cause sleep disruptions. Seeing unrealistic body images can lead to body dysmorphia, and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) can cause depression and anxiety. It’s a good idea to set usage limits on your phone and seek out face-to-face contact with friends. Replace some of the time you spend on social media with opportunities to grow into your best self. Take time to exercise and read books. Prioritize personal development that will take you away from your phone and turn that energy into improving yourself, and the change in your life will reflect in your grades and overall health. Now is the perfect time to do it.