Social media’s petty drivel can’t compete with reality

Facebook and Twitter’s shamelessly self-indulgent babble has begun to bore me.

The latest Facebook trend – “30-Day Song Challenge” – has clogged up my already-petty wall with more tepid attempts at humor and poorly articulated sentiment with even worse grammar.

Abby Badach, editor-in-chief

I’m considering just quitting the whole thing.

Moreso, though, I’m just sick of photo after post after note of super-happy people seemingly having the time of their lives. They’re almost as bad as the over-dramatic folk who constantly remind me how horrible their days have progressed.

Can’t we all just be emotionally stable? Perhaps that’s too much to ask.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a report in March 2011 stating that the effects of viewing a constant stream of exultant Facebook posts can be more damaging to an adolescent than sitting alone in a crowded cafeteria or a similar real-life example of social isolation.

The online forum, they say, doesn’t provide the cues of body language or facial expressions that provide context in the real world.

Elementary, middle and high schools should all adopt social media literacy programs and make them mandatory for all students.

With the influx of online communities, these classes are as integral to students’ development as English and math – more importantly, though, to their safety.

When the time comes that I’m ready to be a parent, I don’t want my daughter or son getting involved with cyber-bullying or thinking it’s OK to post personal information online.

More importantly, I don’t want my kids – or anyone, for that matter – focusing so much on their digital lives that they ignore the physical world.

I spent my advising day last week hiking through Erie Bluffs State Park – a gorgeous wooded area that boasts the longest (and most beautiful) stretch of undeveloped coastline along Lake Erie.

My hiking partner brought along a camera to capture some photos of the scenic woodlands.

I, being a 22-year-old college student, assumed I’d get a halfway decent profile picture out of the trip, too.

Let’s be honest; that’s always in the back of my mind when I’m around a friend with a camera. It’s an unforunate truth that comes from being raised in the Web 2.0 era.

As I pulled out the trusty ol’ Kodak to snap an artful shot of moss growing on an upturned tree, we realized the device wasn’t loaded with a battery.

Instead of feeling frustration build, though, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I’ll take real scenery over a Facebook album any day.

ABBY BADACH

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