Why I Don’t Have Social Media
Whenever I tell people that I don’t have any social media accounts – no Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or TikTok – usually their immediate response is something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m sorry your parents are so overprotective.”
They’ll almost always assume that I deeply desire to have one of those sacred apps on my phone. But although my parents can be controlling at times, this isn’t the case. See, my parents had nothing to do with the absence of any of these apps. I did this to myself.
Being behind on the social norms been my norm for a while. I got my first phone in eighth grade, an iPhone 4 when most other kids had iPhone 6’s or 7’s. As I moved through the last year of middle school, I got accustomed to just using texting and saw social media as almost pointless. But now it seems like they’ve become the main form of staying in touch. Yet, against the lease of friends, I am still holding out.
Let’s state the basic purpose of these apps: communication. They are the result of networking people from across the globe together onto one platform. Considering Instagram’s one billion active users worldwide, and with over a quarter of the US having a Snapchat account, it’s amazing to think of the sheer amount of people that connect everyday. But the more people you’re able to connect with, the less close you are to those you meet. What we should be experiencing as personal bonds between friends is slowly reducing to a couple of pictures a day between profiles that we label The way the apps are advertised displays a way to stay in touch with your friends, but the reality is that we’re replacing quality social relationships with the easier actions of following profiles.
I have looked at other people’s Instagrams before from time to time. And, I’ll admit, it’s kind of appealing, the seemingly endless amount of content all right there for me to consume, especially when it would make for the perfect break in the endless amount of homework. But, it could also make for the perfect distraction. With the never-ending feed of people and places and posts, it becomes hard to look away. In some cases, people start to put social media above their lives in the physical world. One study from Swansea University showed that people experienced physiological signs of withdrawal after halting internet use. Even in the mildest of instances, the content displayed can be mentally harmful. Pictures of other people’s perfect vacation or awards easily trigger us to compare ourselves to others and put ourselves down. And because posts are often the best pictures and the biggest accomplishments, these negative comparisons can happen in rapid succession.
Social networking is a great feat of technology. It has achieved communication on a scale and at a speed never seen before in history. But we have begun to replace meets up and hang outs with comments and polls. I want to remain grounded in the relationships I have with the people around me, and keep up the connections that can’t be converted into code and sent through the air. So for now, I think I’ll hold off a bit on Insta and Snap. I think I’ll just stay with the good old iMessages.
My name is Ruben Flores, and I’m a junior. This is my second year on staff. I’m a reporter, the Life and Arts Editor and Opinions Editor. I play the...