Social media’s influence on students since quarantine


Abby Hall, Staff Writer

Social media is extremely prevalent in our current society and has even become our main source for news, communication, and entertainment. 

A majority of businesses now have multiple outlets of social media and is a specific career field and profession.

The digital hub is at our fingertips 24/7, making it harder to disconnect and turn our attention span elsewhere when we need to get work done. 

“It’s hard to turn it all off,” a UWF Senior said. “Especially since I am really close to finishing school, I get super distracted by social media. It definitely got a lot worse when we were in quarantine and I don’t think I’ve really found a way to control it yet.”

With the Coronavirus outbreak and quarantine in March of 2020, many people turned to technology and social media as their main form of communication and connection because our in-person contact was, and still is, extremely limited.

Human and social interaction is extremely important for our survival and mental state, so having advanced technology during this time was thankfully a way that people could still feel connected to the outside world. 

However, restrictions are slowly being lifted and life is beginning to return to normal in terms of work and education requirements. 

We are still being required to stay distanced and deal with the impacts of this pandemic while also being full time remote students, interns and for many, part-time and full-time employees.

Working and learning from home has presented challenges for many students and staying connected to our schoolwork and responsibilities is harder when we are at home with countless distractions, specifically social media. 

“I think our generation is so consumed with what everyone else is doing on social media that we don’t implement time to focus on what we need to be doing,” UWF Junior Lizzie Long said.

Within the past year, social media has become an effective and easy way to keep up with the news, but that also has its downfalls.

“The news is heavy right now,” a UWF student said. “It’s not as bad as it was at the beginning of quarantine, but I find myself being consumed in the news and all of the bad things that are going on right now. It’s hard to stay focused when you see the world exploding like this.”

It has been mentally demanding to keep up with the news, monitoring our own social media usage, and staying on top of responsibilities, assignments, and other tasks. 

Social media in the form of entertainment provides a quick, easy escape from the reality that we are living in right now and it has been hard for many college students to put their phones down and concentrate on academics. 

“There are many times that I sit down to do my schoolwork just end up scrolling through my phone,” a UWF student said. “Sometimes I don’t even mean to and I actually want to get my work done but for some reason, I just can’t stay focused.” 

However, there are positive aspects of social media, such as allowing people to communicate throughout quarantine and keeping people updated on world news, which should be appreciated. 

A large part of the movements and 2020 election happened through social media communication and without the platforms there might not have been that opportunity. 

Many people also would have suffered more severe mental repercussions from the isolation without any possible form of communication. 

It’s important to keep these positive qualities in mind, but balance is ultimately the key to a healthy relationship with social media.

Since just simply getting the willpower to close out the media apps is a lot easier said than done, iPhone and Android have a setting that allows you to set your own time limit on specific apps.

Once you have spent that amount of time on social media in 24 hours, it locks the app on your phone and notifies you.

It also gives you statistics breaking down how long you spend on your phone and which apps consume your time.

This isn’t always a full proof plan to fix social media time balance, but it does make you more aware of how much of the day you’re spending scrolling through your phone and I have found that awareness helps me monitor it more.

Many students have also suggested placing their phone away from where they do schoolwork because it’s not as easy to just grab when you receive a notification or lose the train of thought.

Remember to not be too hard on yourself for feeling more lost in your phone right now. Many people feel the same way and it is completely understandable, given everything going on in the world right now, that we are all looking for an escape. 

It won’t be like this forever.