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Social media can be tool or distraction

Facebook and Instagram announced that they were rolling out time limit options and the first thing that came to my mind was: good.
Social media is extremely popular with my age demographic, but too many times the time our age group spends together is dominated by cellular devices. It’s hard to have a conversation with someone who has their attention elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have social media accounts and I do use them, but my big thing is when I use them.
This year, I have started to take a stand against using social devices while in social settings. The results were pretty good.
When I am with my friends, my phone goes away. Not only do the phones detract from the social aspect of hanging out, they make your friends feel like a second option. My friends have also started to follow suit and we found something pretty amazing. Without phones, we manage to connect at greater depth and have better conversations.
Just last week, my phone broke leaving me without a phone for the better part of a week. Although it will turn on in intervals allowing me to shoot a text if needed, it has been extremely nice. I have been able to avoid all the distractions. If someone has needed to get a hold of me, they have been able to.
Sure, I might be lacking in social media posts this week, but I feel as if the quality of living is bettering with the minute.
That’s not to say that social media is bad, it’s simply a tool that some overuse. Often times, when I am alone or have free time, I will spend that time with catching up on the social media.
A major user on Twitter is President Donald J. Trump, who can often tweet things that paint him in a negative light. For instance, this week he tweeted “There is No Collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam.” This tweet received over 30,000 re-tweets, 130,000 likes and 49,000 responses.
While the feedback was mostly split down the middle, this is a great example of Twitter being a negative tool. We don’t need to hear this rhetoric anymore. We have been subjected to this too long.
Too often we see tweets that damage the reputation of someone.
Two more Major League Baseball players succumbed to having their old tweets surface that contained racist and homophobic language.
On Sunday, a young Atlanta Braves pitcher, Sean Newcomb, had his no-hitter broken up in the final inning and his day continued to get worse. Twitter users brought to light tweets that Newcomb sent in 2011 and 2012.
Newcomb wasn’t the only Major League Baseball player to succumb to old tweets. Trea Turner, of the Washington Nationals, also had his negative past tweets brought to light. Both players issued statements and apologies; but it isn’t enough.
Being young isn’t an excuse for sending negative messages about people, but what’s crazy is that the generation has had social media for so long that they could be a completely different person from who they were when they posted it.
When people send social media messages, they often say things that they wouldn’t say in real life or to anyone’s face.
That’s what’s dangerous about social media. We are often communicating with people, without the human aspect. I encourage all of our readers to put down their phones and interact with close friends, family or even acquaintances a little more each day.
Don’t be afraid to disconnect from the digital world for even a weekend at a time or even using social media in intervals. Live in the moment, don’t live your life through a screen. I promise you, it might seem like a balancing act but it’s a pretty easy fix to a more complex situation.
In order to check your time on Instagram, hit the “your activity” button to see your usage. For Facebook, click the “Activity” tab and go to “Your time on Facebook.” You can set the time you wish to spend on the application. Once you spend the time, a notification will appear that will let you know your set time is up. It is up to your discretion to keep using the application or to stick to your game plan.