Filtering of social media encourages productivity

Filtering of social media encourages productivity

Danny Fookson, senior columnist

It’s 8:00 p.m. The Instagram posts have slowed down. I found the perfect Prom picture, and I’ll get the most likes if I post now. Okay. I posted it.

Scroll scroll scroll. Who liked my picture? Scroll scroll scroll. Woah, what?? It’s 8:00 a.m. already?!

Fortunately, we don’t actually spend 12 hours scrolling through Instagram or some other social media site on our free time, or at least I hope not. The truth is that many of us do spend a lot of time on social media on a daily basis, though. According to Pew Research Center, 73 percent of wired teens use social networking websites, and Adweek states that the average American spends nearly two hours on social media each day.

So what are those two hours spent on? Added up for me, those two hours are the times I spend looking through Facebook watching various white people doing the whip, seeing a picture of Dan Bilzerian on Instagram or furiously tapping on a screen of never ending Snapchat Stories. While we do all have a unique presence on social media, my guess is that there are quite a few of you students who experience the same things every day.

But recently, I discovered that my daily two hours on social media do not have to be spent looking through the same unwarranted selfies to pass the time. We can use social media to benefit ourselves with news as long as we tailor it to our personal interests.

And we don’t have to seek out new social media to make good use of the Internet. As I was browsing Instagram, I found a page (@hypetrak) that featured the latest news about the rap industry. On Snapchat, I can swipe left to quickly check what CNN is featuring in world news and what ESPN is highlighting in sports.

Frankly, there are those of us that already go on websites to seek out that kind of information. But since social media is becoming so prevalent in our society, why not build our social media portfolios to fit our individual interests? The only problem is that we receive too much content to actually get a good flow of what we want to see.

The solution to that problem is filtering the content on social media. That means carefully choosing who we follow on what sites. For me, that meant unfriending people who posted an obscene amount of articles on bodybuilding or unfollowing some people on Twitter who cannot stop retweeting @sexfacts. It also meant that I start following @NBCNews.

The reality today is that social media is widespread among kids our age, and stopping our use of it does not have to be the solution to the time wasted online. Instead, we can learn to utilize our time on social media wisely. And hopefully, spending hours looking through pointless Instagram posts will no longer be a part of my nightly routine.