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The New Social Life: Why the social media revolution can't define our lives

Since the days of MySpace there seems to be one social media venture after another, each one becoming more popular than the next. The world thrives on it; our generation in particular would be lost without it. Really though, our generation and those following it would simply be lost without the Internet in general. For some, it is a news provider and for others it is a way to connect with people that they otherwise wouldn't have a relationship with (after all if it weren't for Facebook we all would forget a lot of birthdays). But what if we all took a social media hiatus? Rather what if we just shut off our laptops for a couple days, disconnected our cell phones from our Facebook, Twitter and news updates, and just forgot it all existed?

Some would argue that it is impossible to completely avoid all the social media that our generation thrives on. Others would argue that there is no point to giving it up. In recent weeks, I took a short hiatus from Facebook which resulted in me cutting down my online time on all of my social media sites. Just one week off from Facebook) was enough to show me that there was plenty more to do then peruse the pages of my many social media outlets. One week was enough to change my social media habits in general resulting in me checking all things social media related just once a day. My phone no longer receives my notifications and in turn I think about them far less then I normally would.

Thus, while many would argue that it is impossible to avoid all social media, I would happily agree. I felt too disconnected and in turn decided to find the happy medium. Social media by no means is a bad thing but I feel some forget that there is more to a day than obsessively updating your Facebook status. It extends past being productive with school work. Sure, we all feel we can get a little more done with blocking our social media sites or deactivating them for a day or two to write a paper, but what about everything else? I often hear the argument from college students that they have no time to even read a book (I am guilty of this). However, if we all spent less time on our social media sites and picked up a book instead, one simply replaces the other, no?

In general, social media is all about finding a balance. Social media can't replace social interaction and in many cases it does. In turn, challenge yourself to find that happy medium and focus on things a little more important than Facebook stalking your ex-best friend's new boyfriend (we are all guilty of something like this). Our generation may be defined by social media but it in no way should define our lives.

Ashley Duvall is a sophomore public relations major from Vernon, N.J. She can be reached


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