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The importance of using social media in the proper way

Social media have become a platform in which individuals can become whoever they want to be.

If you desire to be popular, all you have to do is click the friend request button and wait for the person on the receiving end to respond. If you want to look dif­ferent, you can use tools such as Photoshop, or airbrush and tint your photos to look like a totally new version of yourself. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and In­stagram allow you to become the person you always wanted to be.

However, I often ask myself, where is the line drawn between social media and real life?

Social media have become such a huge part of individuals' lives, especially college students, that it almost interferes with "normal life."

We constantly interrupt our ev­eryday activities to write a status, post a photo or look at others' pro­files. We check to see if we have gotten any likes or comments on our post while we are in class, out to eat with our friends and even while we are at work.

Complications also arise because of social media.

For example, if we are Facebook friends and we talk occasionally online, should we wave or say hello as we pass each other on campus? Or are we just friends online and our interactions are strictly confined to web chats?

If someone makes an inappropri­ate comment about us on a social media outlet, should we confront the individual in person or through the same social media outlet? Or does it not matter at all, because it is not real life?

Looking back before social me­dia became popular, I can truly say that life was a lot less complicated and face-to-face interaction was actually important.

Do not get me wrong, I love uploading pictures of myself and my friends on Facebook and Ins­tagram and ranting about my life on Twitter. I also use social media to connect with friends and family members who live far away. I also see the importance of face-to-face communication.

Social media are taking over tra­ditional communication and hon­estly, it is a little unnerving.

We no longer get our news from newspapers or even from web­sites, we now just hop on Twitter to get our daily dish of news. I definitely believe that social me­dia are a blessing but need to be used in moderation.

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Social media have the power to distract us from our daily activi­ties if we let them and complicate our lives even more. As college students we all need to recognize the importance of social media but also know that there is a time and a place for them. When it is time to focus on schoolwork that is what we need to be doing,

Briana Knox is a senior jour­nalism major from South Orange, NJ. She can be reached at


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