Social media plays a huge part in all of our lives and for some of us, has taken over our lives. One of the major social media platforms is Snapchat. This trendy app allows users to send pictures, chat, and create daily stories, giving a sneak peek into a person’s daily life. Snapchat has a negative effect on college students.
According to an article published on Omnicore, 71 percent of Snapchat users are under 34 and 187 million people use Snapchat daily as of Feb. 6, 2018. With these numbers it is no wonder Snapchat has blown up and is a part of almost every young person’s life. However, that does not mean it is a positive thing. In fact Snapchat has a negative impact on college students.
With more than 10 billion video views daily, college students heavily rely on Snapchat to see others’ lives. When students start relying more on internet relationships and less on face-to-face communication interpersonal communication and social abilities start to slack. According to an article from Business Insider, 60 percent of people using Snapchat use it to chat with their friends.
Some might argue people might still communicate face-to-face as much as they use the app. Well, according to USA Today College, a study conducted for online casino Yazino found that one in four people spend more time socializing online, than they do in person. That is 25 percent of people relying on social media for communication, thus threatening their interpersonal skills. The article goes on to read, “even when there is an opportunity to see people face-to-face, on weekends for example, up to 11 percent of adults still prefer to stay at home and communicate on their devices.”
Using social media more as a communication platform can also create mental health issues, specifically low self-esteem and loneliness. College students are in danger of becoming lonely when those virtual friends are not in their real life. Low self-esteem can also arise when comparing their lives to others via Snapchat. Psychologist Leon Festing from an article published by Cornell University said, “negative self-comparison is when users compare their lives with that of others. Social media sites are the platform for this comparison, setting the stage for insecurities to flourish. Selfies can also create low self-esteem when college students do not receive the recognition they thought they would. According to Omnicore, 50 percent of male college users share selfies and 77 percent of female college students share selfies. When college students share selfies it allows room for low self-esteem to occur.
Snapchat can have a negative effect inside the classroom as well and cause college student to become distracted and procrastinate with their work. According to an article published by North Iowa Area Community College, “the excessive usage of social media by college students causes the students to lose focus during class time and procrastinate. The lack of focus in the classroom has an effect on the student’s performance as they may miss assignment details. According to an psychology instructor at the school, Jeff Platt, “Social media can interfere with learning if students believe multitasking is possible.
So, how can society solve this social media epidemic called Snapchat? Well, college students need to put down their phones during class time and start looking up to build connections and relationships face-to-face. Society needs to stop glamorizing social media and start advocating for real-life communication to help self-esteem, loneliness, and focus. This culture needs to start living in the present because it is in the present that we find our friendships through others.