The Anti-Social Media

     Luddite: noun–a person against new technology or ways of working. Though this term typically has a negative connotation, teens are turning that around. They are using it as a tool for self-improvement, inspiring many others to do the same. Flip phones are the new trend in alternative culture. Luddite is the new punk.

    The trend started at a New York high school where students formed a “Luddite club.” Students give up their phones either permanently or they just go to the mandatory phone-free meetings. Some students have even taken it as far as throwing their phones in the ocean and leaving these connections behind. “I don’t think it should be so extreme, but we are expected to know how to use tech and with that we need to enhance our ability with something that we can have on hand. There should be more educational usage for sure,” Zander Walton, a senior at Presque Isle High School, said.

      Some may argue that you can learn plenty from social media. On the other hand, algorithms learn more about you than you’re learning from them. Self-awareness can help in lessening our time on social media networks, but algorithms find a way to keep you hooked. This is the reasoning for students deciding to quit phone usage cold turkey. 

    The New York Times article, “Luddite Teens Don’t Want Your Likes,” is inspiring students across the country to drop their phones and live in the moment. It’s becoming a fad in alternative culture to dispose of phones and/or social media accounts. The world is fascinated that the target audience of phone companies is turning and doing the opposite of what was expected. Teenagers went from being technologically advanced people to being anti cell phone.

     The only problem with jumping to extremes, such as throwing your phone in the water, is that technology is becoming essential to our way of living. This makes it difficult to find a healthy balance. Presque Isle High School sophomore Olivia Goodine said, “I think it could be beneficial to use less technology. It would be really good for mental health because there would be less comparing ourselves to other people.” Though this perspective is popular, owning a phone can make or break your career. We are living in a society where our community’s view of us is based on our social media presence and digital footprint (or lack thereof).

     So what’s the best path to take?  Which extreme is the answer?  Probably neither.  Throwing your phone away is not a viable answer for most people.  Being addicted to social media can be harmful, as can any other form of addiction.  As with much in life, finding a good balance for yourself is probably crucial to your success and happiness.     

These signs appear in different classrooms, reminding students to take a break from phones and pay attention to what is happening before their eyes.