Freshmen at San Marcos High School Combat the Influences of Social Media


By Logan Buser

During quarantine, social media apps such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram took the spotlight. For high school students everywhere, the days have been full of last-minute crunching, hours of homework, and most of all, stress. Social media provides an escape from the work and gives well needed free-time, or does it? Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital collected data which stated that those who use more social media sites more often are three times more likely to suffer from anxiety and increased stress levels. Freshman Alex Miranda rarely finds herself attached to her phone. Oftentimes, she will prioritize her work first, and save social media for later. However, sometimes she can’t help herself.  “I use social media for about an hour everyday,” Miranda said. “Tiktok because it’s never ending and easy to scroll forever.” “I easily get distracted and I see the notifications and can’t stop myself.”

According to Miranda, although she sometimes gives in to her phone, social media does not affect her methods of productivity. If anything, the effect is neutral. Miranda says that despite the temptation, she still cares about her education enough to look past her phone. Out of all the social media apps she uses, Snapchat would have to be the most distracting. She feels like once she’s on the app, talking to her friends, it’s fairly difficult to get back to work. For Alex Miranda, social media is a distraction, but not a necessity, and can be overlooked if school takes priority.

 Freshman Chase Hessick claims to use social media three to four hours per day. “I like to use it when I’m bored, have free time, at home, and even in class,” Hessick said.

Hessick likes to use a variety of apps, but the most prevalent are Snapchat? and Tiktok. To him, they are the most interactive and inherently addictive. Hessick says that many people use them and find a sense of community with others who are like minded. 

When discussing whether social media affects productivity, Hessick said, “Absolutely, because it’s always an option for me to have instead of doing my work, which sounds more appealing to me and other people as well.”

Because social media is always a constant alternative to working, many people, even adults, lose themselves in it. The  comprehensive curriculum organization World of Work  produced statistics that say around 32 percent of time spent on social media during work hours is not spent working or being productive. As well, 13 percent of work time is lost to social media in total. Many workplaces discourage social media during office hours, and even punish employees for it. However, do these statistics hold true for students at San Marcos High School? Hessick had this to say, “It’s definitely bad because instead of doing something productive that will benefit you it is a substitute, like a temporary pleasure that gives you no value or benefit. Whereas instead, you could do something productive and challenge yourself, and get some value out of it,” Hessick said.

However, several other studies have cited that social media use can actually increase work ethic and focus. Freshman Emmy Espinoza says she uses social media for seven hours each day. To her, social media is a must. Espinoza’s favorite apps aren’t much different than her peers’. Snapchat, Instagram, and Tiktok dominate the playing field. “ I use Snapchat the most so I can talk to my friends all day all the time,” Espinoza said. There are drawbacks, however. According to Espinoza, social media often distracts her from her work and keeps her from getting it done. “…I am constantly on [it] and I’d rather be on social media than doing my homework, studying or anything else.” “I would say it’s definitely negative because I end up not getting my work done and sitting around all day on my phone,” Espinoza said.

The consensus between these students is consistent. Social media distracts from work and keeps us away from our priorities. Does this speak for everyone? Absolutely it does not. However, to the freshmen at San Marcos High School, the cons most definitely outweigh the pros. Lost time, late assignments, crunching, etc. all plague students’ daily lives and prevent them from efficiently working. Social media can be identified as the root of many issues like these. Apps such as Tiktok, Snapchat and Instagram do nothing but take away from our academic focus. The students of San Marcos Highschool know that social media is neither beneficial nor effective, and is better left unused when school takes priority.