By ALI AHMED ’22, MANINDER DHESI ’22
The Edison Board of Education observed its first-ever district-wide Unplugged Day on October 7, 2019, where students and teachers refrained from electronic usage, including their school devices, throughout the day.
Edison High School organized different activities for the students to partake in throughout the day, which allowed us as the student body to reflect on their electronic usage, and perhaps consider taking a break from the constant drivel of information. Some students were brave enough to not use their social media over the following weekend, meaning no Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.
However, various students and staff members admitted not using social media, most commonly due to personal choice.
Sanjana Suresh, a sophomore at Edison High School, said, “I personally feel that having a social media would waste too much of my time, which is one of the reasons why I don’t have one.” The fear of social media as a source of unproductivity is quite common amongst the students and staff at Edison High School who do not have social media.
And quite frankly, this fear has become a reality across students globally. According to EAB Global Inc., 97% of college students admit to their phones, more specifically social media, being the cause of their unproductivity. Despite the fact that many people rely on social media to connect with their friends, they recognize that social media often detrimentally affects their productivity.
However, in contrast to the destructive effect of social media on productivity, many proponents of widespread social media argue that social media serves as an outlet for inspiration for many students. Mrs. Frey, an Honors English and AP Lang teacher at Edison High, commented on how she uses platforms such as Pinterest as inspiration for lessons, cooking, etc. Along with Mrs. Frey, thousands of students, teachers, and thinkers have used social media to gain new ideas and build upon old ones. In many cases, social media can spurn new ideas, leading to increased creativity and inspiration around the world. In addition to its ability to connect people, many attribute the creation of new ideas to social media.
In addition, social media allows people to connect with others from long distances, which was unthinkable in the past. With the advent of high-speed internet, telephone communication, and satellite data, communicating with relatives and friends on the other side of the globe became easier than ever. In years prior, where a telephone call would require you to visit a booth and pay a ridiculous fee, communicating with your loved ones requires a couple of taps on a bit of glass.
In spite of social media’s ability to inspire the next generation of innovators, inventors, and inquisitors, much of the social media base often feel social media damages their mental health. Oftentimes, the drama social media creates harms students mentally and socially without them having realized it.
Despite social medias’ intentions to help connect separated friends and families and spark creativity and innovation, it continues causing mental health problems and is a common source of unproductivity. Try considering your own social media usage—are you brave enough to unplug?