Social Media: A Love/Hate Relationship

For the last couple of years, I have been working towards limiting and reducing my social media access. The catalyst for this change was watching The Social Dilemma. After watching the documentary, I began to notice the impacts of social media on my personal connections and relationships. I then committed myself to focusing more on social connections with real people, in real time. During this time, I deleted many of my social media apps from my phone including snapchat, twitter, facebook and tiktok, leaving myself with Instagram and pintrest on my phone.

Not having these apps on my phone was an adjustment for several weeks. I no longer had multiple apps to mindlessly scroll through, however I often found myself inadvertently attempting to open the no longer existing apps. As I became aware of these impacts of social media use on myself and began to adjust, I was also more aware of my family’s social media use. For example, during family gatherings, how often everyone would grab their phones just to scroll through posts on different social media apps. The more I noticed patterns such as this, the more I became saddened of where our community was headed.

With all that being said, I can recognize the many benefits of social media. For me personally, it has helped me to stay connected to friends, family, and peers that are geographically distant or who have limited time to connect in person. In many ways, social media helps break down barriers of accessibility. It allows me and others to share news, information, and ideas to multiple people at once which provides convenience. With sharing of information being spread readily and available 24-7, it is not wonder social media has sky rocketed. Additionally, from a community standpoint, social media has helped me stay connected and become more aware of events and local organizations that are running in my community.

From a professional lens, I use Instagram to promote my classes that I teach at Local Barre Fitness. This is something that is encouraged by my employers and helps me to connect with people in the local barre community in a different way outside of the studio. As an educator, I started a twitter account back in 2017. However, my activity on the app only lasted for a few months before it tapered off. This was my first year in a full-time teaching role and I found that being a first-year teacher and running a professional social media page to be too time consuming at the time. That being said, although I do not share on social media, I have used many platforms to search for ideas to use in my classroom. For example, I used tiktok to find different watercolor painting projects for my students, and I use art hub with my students once a week to practice fine motor and listening skills. Therefore, I see the huge value of using social media to share ideas professionally.

From a teaching perspective, I have used social media in the classroom very minimally. I have taught a Functionally Integrated Academic Program (FIAP) computer course for three years. Each time I teach this class, I teach a social media safety and digital citizenship unit. This was developed because of a need for my students, as many of them use social media and are vulnerable in their use. Therefore, learning and teaching about the dangers of social media provide me with more hesitancy in the value of it and perpetuates my love/hate relationship with it.

6 thoughts on “Social Media: A Love/Hate Relationship

  1. “During this time, I deleted many of my social media apps from my phone including snapchat, twitter, facebook and tiktok, leaving myself with Instagram and pintrest on my phone.” Thanks for sharing, Amy. This part of the post resonated with me, becuase it’s something I WANT to do, but then find myself flaking out, and reinstalling. It’s just such a time suck, for one, but I can also relate to the story you told about a family gathering where everyone picks up their phone. I definitely see that in my own family as well, and it’s becoming a habit — scary! I’m not sure how to break that pattern — maybe a mandated “put your phone away!”… like school hahah

    • Love that idea Janeen! We may need to start setting standards for family gatherings so that we can truly have that time connect with each other face to face!

  2. Hi Amy! I totally respect your decision to delete most of your social media apps! Being present in real time is so important and a skill many people are starting to lose. I am a bare minimum social media user and I have thought about just deleting it all. I am annoyed when I go out and there is always a camera or video in my face. I like how you use some apps to help support your learning and enhance student learning (ex with your digital citizenship unit). I will have to check out that art hub for fine motor skills!
    Thanks for your post! I really connected with it.

    • Thanks Brenda! I’ve also contemplated deleting it all at times. However, have definitley found it difficult to stay connected without having some access to social media. Admittingly, I missed one of my high school friend’s baby showers because the only invitation sent out was through facebook, which I was no longer using so did not receive. It makes it tough to be completely disconnected!

  3. Amy, I agree that we need to focus more on personal connection with people and less on the social media connection. I have found that many people are quicker to send a text, email, DM rather than to pick up the phone or send a personal hand written letter. We need to find the balance on the scale that works for us that allows us to be a part of this ever changing world but to also not loose the personal connections that are so very important in life.

    • Thank you for your response Andrea! I appreciate your thoughts and definitely agree that it is all about finding balance within our ever changing world and how we interact. I certainly appreciate the fact that I grew up in the 90s and was able to have a lot of experience making those face to face connections. It is refreshing to move back to some of those old habits, while still staying connected in the social media world.

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