Social media is a great tool when it’s used appropriately within a limit. But not everyone uses social media as a tool, it has become a medium to kill time now. One prime example of that is our Indian youth which is having more screen time than bedtime these days. India has the largest youth population in the world which is mostly comprised of students from 6-24 years of age. This is an alarming change that has become so common that we have started to normalize it as a society. Let’s discuss how social media is destroying the future of our students, its causes, and ways to bring positive changes.
How is Social Media A Threat To Our Students’ Future?
From dark circles to daydreaming, from 5 minutes of reels to 3 hours of scrolling, everything is a sign of how social media has impacted our lives. Social media is an inseparable part of our lifestyle now and there’s nothing that we can do about it. No matter how destructive it can be, it’s also a great tool for many of us.
So how exactly did social media become a threat to our students?
It all started with the emergence of Facebook in India. A platform where you could meet other people, chat with them, and post what’s going on in life. It eventually became a platform where people would just scroll through posts and videos of all kinds. Internet was expensive back then which is why, most people would use social media for very short durations. With time many social media platforms emerged and became a time-killing source for us. Social media addiction finally began with Jio’s free data scheme and the rise of TikTok at the same time. These days everyone has access to a good amount of cheap internet which is being used to scroll through reels and shorts.
Our students have been affected the most by this and are now spending most of their time-consuming media. They have started to prefer screen time over productive quality time and that is alarming.
What’s The Root Cause(s)?
There are many causes of how social media is ruining our youth instead of making them more productive. There’s no doubt that social media is a great tool but it is nothing more than a source of entertainment for most students these days.
We dug into the details and found out the root causes:
- Brand Marketing for Short term pleasure: One of the main reasons why everyone is getting addicted to social media content is the brands behind them. Brands are making sure that you see what you want to see while making minimum efforts. They provide you with short entertaining videos with new content just one scroll away. Ever wondered why you can’t focus on studying like you could before? It’s because these companies have reduced your attention span to mere minutes/seconds through their short videos.
- Addiction: Believe it or not, many students are past the point of no return and are already addicted to social media. Even those in their early ages of development are a victims of it. Addiction is a real thing and it’s not limited to just the use of substances, social media is a prime example of that.
- FOMO: Fear of missing out or FOMO is also a reason why our youth can’t keep their hands off their phones. They want to know what’s going on, what their friend just posted, who went to a party, and much more. They just don’t want to miss anything so whenever they hear a notification, they can’t help but check their phones.
- It’s an escape from reality: Indian students have lots of pressure on them, and to cope with that pressure most students like to spend their time on these platforms. When those students come across the lives of other people and celebrities on SM platforms, they feel even miserable thinking they didn’t achieve anything. While in reality, the lives they see on social media are faker than fake but they do create fake expectations among the students.
What’s The Solution Then?
- Acknowledge it’s a problem: The first step that you should take towards setting free from social media addiction is to acknowledge that you’re addicted. Once you know there’s a problem in you, you’ll have a reason to fight it and do better in life.
- Social Media De-Tox: You can detox your body from fats and oils by avoiding them, you can detox your mind as well. Social media can be addictive and if you’re already addicted to it you can detox your brain from the short term pleasure addiction it gets from using social media like youtube shorts, Instagram reels, etc. To detox, you just need to quit all these platforms for at least 2 weeks and if possible, you should avoid using your phone too. It will definitely help you fight your social media addiction and re-train your brain to perform better.
- Find a Hobby: This is one of the oldest and more effective tricks in the book. You need to find a healthier addiction to fight your unhealthy addictions. In this case, you can always try to move on from social media by doing something that you always wanted to do. Learn to play an instrument, go join a dance club, play some sports, or do anything that’s healthy. Once you start loving that new hobby of yours, you’ll see how you’re giving lesser time to your phone and more to those things that actually matter.
- Limit your mobile phone usage: This is a crucial step, if you study online a lot but tend to open social media everytime then it’s time you work on it. You need to either uninstall your social media apps or put a password on them so that whenever open those apps, you have to feed in the passcode which will work as a reminder that you are not meant to open the app yet.
Social media is a great tool and if you are just a student then it should be used only as a tool and not a source of entertainment. You have a lot more to worry about and achieve in life. So make sure you’re using your time wisely for building a better future for yourselves.