My Relationship With Social Media

Looking Back…

My first Facebook status, circa 2008.
My first Instagram post

Pros & Cons

There are many ways that social media has positively and negatively impacted my life. So many in fact, that it is probably easier to write this as a list.

Positives:
1. Connection
When I was younger, social media was a very useful tool for connecting with classmates and friends. Even now, I use Snapchat frequently to share things with my friends (like a million snaps of my dog and what I am eating), as well as Facebook to stay connected to family and friends who are near and far.

2. Expression
Growing up, I definitely went through an ~angsty~ phase with many emotions (looking back I’m sure this is typical of almost all teenagers). Social media websites like Tumblr allowed me a safe space to “blog” (I guess it is a blog but I mainly used it for photos) about feelings and connect with others who were feeling the same way. This made dealing with large emotions a lot easier and had a positive impact on my development.

3. Education
I currently use social media (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tik Tok) daily to learn tons of new things. I use these platforms to expand my knowledge about anything from baking/cooking to tips for the classroom. It is invaluable to be able to quickly find tips, tricks, and explanations for almost anything.

Negatives:
1. Distraction
Although I love social media and being on my phone, I waste A LOT of time doing it. This has become more noticeable since Tik Tok became a thing as I used to always read before bed and now I get distracted watching videos instead. I think this picture pretty much sums up this point…

2. “Picture Perfect”
The biggest negative impact of social media, to me, is the pressure to be “picture perfect.” Especially as a teenager when Instagram emerged, there was lots of pressure to get “likes” on your pictures. This platform also allowed for kids to see pages from people all over the world which meant we had more people to compare ourselves too. As I have gotten older, this is less of an issue and is no longer something that affects me personally, but I know it still affects many children, including my students.

3. Privacy
As an adult, I now know better how to protect my privacy online. However, when I was younger, I was naïve and did not consider how visible things I was posting might be. Today, I am more concerned about the privacy of children as social media has become more popular among a much younger group of kids who either don’t know, don’t understand, or don’t care about the dangers of these platforms.

Overall, I think that social media has impacted my life in mostly positive ways. It has allowed me to remain connected to friends and family and to continue learning. As an educator and a future parent, I know that we must focus on teaching kids how to use social media safely and effectively. I am hoping to cover this topic more in depth at a later time.

5 thoughts on “My Relationship With Social Media

  1. My parents also worked at SaskTel here in Regina, mostly at head office! What a small world! I wonder if they do in fact know each other.

    Although I am a bit older than you, well half a decade (give or take), I too recall many of the things that you talked about. From T9, BBM, BBM pings, MSN, etc. I definitely used all of those and felt pretty darn cool at the time. Although you may not truly remember the days of dial-up internet, I remember them well. I also remember that terrible sound of calling someone when they forgot to turn off or were currently using their fax machines. You think the dial-up sound was bad… anyway… I have heard friends talk about excessive screen time use, and didn’t really think anything of it. I do like how Apple has included that feature, and I like it even more now that they actually categorize time, however even though I see how much time I’ve been spending on my phone, unfortunately, it doesn’t always deter me or push me to make changes.

    Thanks for your post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your experience with social media and technology is a lot like mine! Being born in the ’90s as well, I find us to have many similarities from the age we received our first phone to use the same platforms that were popular in the early 2000s. You helped me remember some social media and technology that I had forgotten existed!

    I was really interested in reading about screen time on our phones. I was curious about mine and… wow! I am a bit ashamed of mine! Thank you for informing me about this tool on my phone. I’ll definitely be using it to try and make that number smaller. I lose so much productivity time scrolling over and over.

    As educators, I agree with you that teaching about digital citizenship is a necessity. Technology in the classroom can be super helpful and I feel lucky to have it in my classroom for my students and I to use as a learning tool. But, we really need to make sure kids know how to be safe online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, digital citizenship is essential for students of all ages to discuss in school, especially with how children who are younger and younger are beginning to utilize social media platforms. I try and cover this topic every year with my students (4/5). Common Sense Media and Media Smarts are some of my favourite resources! In the past, with students who I know use platforms (because they loudly talk about it in my room) I will sometimes show kids how easily I was able to find their tiktok/instragram etc that isn’t private so they can see and understand how easy it is for their stuff to be accessed. Many of them take more precautions after that haha.

      Like

  3. Hi Britt. Great post! I liked your use of links- especially referencing Farmville. That led me a back to memory lane. What about Candy Crush?
    I agree that keeping kids safe in a digital world is a concern for parent, grandparents and educators.
    I look forward to hearing more.
    Brenda Ives

    Like

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