By Hailey Angulo
Pulse Staff Writer
Over the past few years the use of social media has skyrocketed. According to statisticbrain.com, 98 percent of 18-24 year olds use some form of social media whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest.
With the introduction of new sites each year, it’s no wonder why so many students are forming social media addictions.
“I wake up and check my phone (Twitter and Instagram) every morning like it is a part of my routine,” said Palo Alto student Selena Guerrero, a sophomore Education major. “I like to know what was going on while I’m asleep and keep up with all my friends.”
Guerrero isn’t alone with her social media habit. According to effectivestudentmaking.com, 56 percent of people check their Facebook daily and 12 percent check theirs every couple of hours. Aside from just checking notifications on their social media accounts, people spend an average of about three and a half hours on these sites, which calculates to about 24.5 hours per week. At the end of the year, the average user has spent 52 days on social media websites.
What makes these sites so addicting?
“At first I used social media just to pass time and over time it just became a habit,” said Darian Ruggles, freshman Business Administration major.
Studies show social media can be compared to the feelings we get from eating food or having money. According to wtwhmedia.com, when test subjects were asked a series of questions about their opinion and others opinions while hooked up to an MRI machine, researchers found that the area of the brain associated with reward were strongly engaged when people were talking about themselves rather than when they were talking about someone else. The addiction forms because we feel rewarded when updating statuses or posting pictures.
This year, The Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island did a study on college freshman to uncover if social media has an effect on colleges students’ GPA. The results showed students who used less social media were attending classes regularly and completing homework while those who used more social media were more likely to abuse alcohol, have anxiety, have poor academic performance.
Facebook is still the number one social networking site, but Twitter is following closely behind.
“I’ll admit, I am addicted to social media. Instead of studying, I find myself checking Twitter or texting. I’m even on it during class and at work…” said PAC student Britney Lopez, a sophomore Business Management major.
Just like any other habits, a social media habit is hard to break. Wisebread.com suggests having a shut down time on your computer to limit the amount of time you spend on it, or downloading productive apps like Garminfit to encourage you to work out, or Due, which is used to keep your day scheduled to use social media in a positive light.
Students are aware that social media may impede on their ability to be successful.
“I will continue to use social media, but I know that if I want to reach my future goals, I need to keep it to a minimum and focus on my priorities,” said Lopez.