Is Black Mirror on to something?

Danielle Hart, Staff Writer

When you think of social media some things that come to mind are, Facebook, Snapchat, and even TikTok. Social media, which is the networking of websites and applications for users to share and create, can actually be detrimental to college students.

The hit Netflix show, Black Mirror highlighted everything wrong with a society filled with social interaction through a screen through the episode “Nosedive.” In “Nosedive,” people accumulate points that shows their social status based on ratings one through five. For example, one low rating can make you lose your job, but a bunch of high ratings can push you up to a better living community. Lacie, the main character is completely obsessed with how people rate her and it shows throughout the beginning of the episode. She soon literally nosedives into a deep and dark place when her ratings go down.

Just like in society today, when we compare ourselves to what we see on social media, it can affect us in ways we never thought. The ratings in the show remind me of our emotional batteries or our overall self-esteem. When we are told good things about ourselves, or even get a high grade on an assignment, we feel better about ourselves. But it only takes one negative comment or one low grade to affect us more than ever. Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, body image issues and sleeping issues, are some of the many possible effects social media can have on college students.

Last semester, I noticed that not only was I unable to get the right amount of sleep, but I felt that I would compare myself to people online. I had low-self esteem and I knew the only way I could make it better was to set limits for myself. For some, social media is a huge distraction, and for me in particular, when it comes to getting my work done it feels impossible. It only takes a couple of posts, for me to get lost in Instagram or TikTok looking at post after post. Instead of doing work, I procrastinate through social media. Whether it be twenty minutes or two hours, it still affects us. Social media is a powerful tool in society that can be really crucial to young adults in college when used in the wrong way.

Instead of all the screen time you intake, try setting limits for social media applications. For Apple users, set screen time limits for applications like Instagram and Snapchat. This way, you can still scroll through your favorite pages without scrolling for a long period of time. It might sound crazy, but putting your phone down for even two hours at a time can feel fulfilling.  Because of this, I recommend limiting your usage of social media, so you can live your life the way you want, without worrying how you stack up to others on a theoretical rating scale.