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Unplugged: a life away from social media

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No Twitter, no Instagram, no Facebook. Many would cringe at the thought of that kind of life. However, this is an actual reality of a few that choose to remain disconnected to most or all forms of social media.

There are still a few that have remained, for the most part, unplugged from technology. Some say being disconnected from modern technology is more beneficial than the easy access information that comes with smart phones.

Many people who aren’t in touch with modern technology believe that it benefits them for the better. Sophomore Elliot Alwes is one of the few that can atest to this.

“Not using social media as often makes my life a lot better,” Alwes said. “I realized that I have something productive to do every minute of the day and that I should not waste any of my time doing things that don’t benefit me at all like looking through social media.”

Additionally, the Internet and technology are useful for getting work done because everything is at your fingertips. There are many websites for online tutoring and help with just about anything.

However, the same websites can cause distraction and make a small assignment take over two hours.

This is another raising concern, that technology is a bigger distraction than a helpful tool. This tends to push students to push aside their school work and spend their time on technology. Procrastination is not the only concern.

Spending hours watching videos on YouTube and scrolling through the news feed on twitter doesn’t only make people far less productive, it also raises health issues. Staring at a screen all the time may seem normal these days, but that does not change the health issues that come with it.

Many studies say that eye strain, tension headaches, and dry uncomfortable eyes are some common issues that accompany the use of smartphones for more than one hour every day.

Alwes also finds that people tend to focus less on life experiences, but how to capture that moment through pictures and video.

“People definitely worry about other people’s opinion too much,” Alwes said, “I want more people to seek to have more physical experiences and do more things they have never done, without documenting every step of the way.”

Alwes thinks some of the biggest benefits of being unplugged are living a worry free life, getting more things done, and being a better social communicator outside the screen.

“I mean technology actually helps me stay focused on my work sometimes,”He said, “Whenever I listen to classical music, I don’t have much to say or do on social media, because no one cares about what I say or do, so I just don’t use it.”

He also says it has affected his life for the better by helping him realize that there are so many things he could do to improve, so many things to explore, discover, and that he can’t fall into the abyss of social media.

Sophomore Lydia Peters find that social media is a distraction. Being social media free allows her to be fully present in each moment and able to interact with others.

Peters also agrees and finds that life has been made much easier without using her phone.

“[Being away from social media and technology] allows me to interact fully with friends and family,” Peters said. “Instead of being addicted to my phone, I’ve had more time to invest in my studies and other people.”

A lot of teens find that letting go of social media is hard, and especially with technology and media being around teens almost all the time. It can be hard to let go of technology and Alwes shows that it is possible for teens to let go of their devices.

Both have found a way to balance and even depend more on his life outside the screen, rather than focus his entire life on what is going on online, through social media and different mediums of communication.

“I’m definitely closer to my family,” she said, “We end up spending time together rather than apart.”

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The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.
Unplugged: a life away from social media