By Maddie Moulton
Social Media is Killing High School Hallways
October 15, 2018
As the 2018-2019 school year begins, I thought that it would only be fitting to dive into a subject that many do not even consider to be a problem, much less a technological epidemic. It shows its face most often in the halls and classrooms of high schools around the U.S but also bears its teeth in the workplaces, streets, and oval offices across the country.
In the beginning, social media was a happy place — a place to share happy thoughts. In a sense, it still is; however, in a much greater sense, it is a black hole of irrelevance that is slowly consuming our entire generation across the globe. Earth is a fairly large scale to base this opinion on though, so I thought I will scale my thoughts down to the humble halls of Skyline High School.
Hopefully, we all remember our days of elementary school, which was the most innocent level of our education. I want all of you reading this to think about that time, and how you spent it. Thoughts of cheerful conversations arise, along with thoughts of football games at recess and passing notes when the teacher looked away. I look back fondly at these times when the only cell phone I had was a red flip phone to call my parents after school. I hope the rest of you found good memories waiting there as well. If you would, keep those thoughts in mind for the time being.
Look into your recent history now, to the confusing days of junior high school. If you were anything like me, this was when you got your first taste of social media. Like any other new toy, I fell in love with it. I posted all the time, and all 30 of my followers were happy to see what I was up to. Constantly. “Guys! I got 20 likes on that post!” I used to scamper through the hallways, grinning whenever that little Nokia Smartphone buzzed in my pocket. Just like elementary school, I was happy; but that happiness began to bring out an uglier, more materialistic personality.
Slowly, I grew tired of watching how other people spent their time, while helplessly wasting my own. By the time junior high school ended I was spending hours diving into the chasms of Instagram, letting that time of my life slip by idly. I began to realize that my once shiny new toy was becoming a shiny new addiction, and somehow by 10th grade, I made the choice to quit. Cold turkey.
High school arrives, and I remove myself from the social media landscape, letting the dust gather on my once bustling profiles. For a time, I felt like the world had gone on without me, everybody else still locked in, laughing at pointless memes and popular trends. People around me wanted to connect with everybody, except for the people in the same physical space as them.
If you would, try to recall those memories of your elementary school days, of sack lunches and passing notes. Now, walk the hallways of Skyline at lunchtime. You can see people huddled in circles, an iPhone in each of their hands, staring at somebody else’s life with glassy eyes.
Therein lies the issue of our current social media world. Its enormous popularity has begun to eat away at the intelligence, the attention spans, the creativity, even the happiness of many of its users. And those negatives do not even include bullying, body shaming, depression, and angry tweets from orange men that social media platforms thrust onto the innocent youth of America. No, those cause compounding issues, issues vastly more serious than the irritating memes that captivate high school hallways — issues that need to have a brighter light shed upon them. Issues that need to be saved for another story, when people begin to realize there’s a problem.