Avoid addiction to social media, students urged
CONSTANT exposure to social media can cause discontent, narcissism and addiction in people, a pastor warned more than 50 Cebu communication and mass media students during yesterday’s symposium on social media.
“There is an envy spiral among social media friends. That is one effect of social media that makes us (discontented) … “Let’s not go into social media blinded,” pastor and video blogger (vlogger) Aaron Joshua “AJ” Caparros of the Living Word Christian Churches of Cebu International Inc. said.
The symposium dubbed “Social Media: Friend or Foe” is spearheaded by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
Held at the Theodore ButtenBruck Hall at the University of San Carlos main campus, it is part of a calendar of activities scheduled for the annual celebration of KBP Month and Cebu Press Freedom Week.
During the symposium Caparros said constant exposure to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat eventually leads people to compare their lives with others by what they see on their feeds.
This comparison causes social anxiety and may in fact be emotionally harmful to users who will be driven to continually seek approval from other people, Caparros said.
He said this “approval addiction” and growing discontent among social media users is a leading cause for depression among people as they crave attention from people online.
This constant online connection makes users more self-absorbed and affects his or her relationship with other people, Caparros said.
He said people should instead count their blessings instead of comparing their lives to other people online.
And rather than create virtual relationships, the pastor-vlogger said people should build real-life relationships by being more involved in the community and join or start advocacies.
“Social media is a neutral platform and it depends on how you use it. How you use it determines whether it is a friend or a foe. We should use social media to motivate and inspire others,” Caparros said.
He also encouraged students to constantly verify content they see on their social media accounts and to campaign against the spread of fake news.
“The media is doing the right thing going into social media,” he said.
Students like 18-year-old Alwayne Arabis of Cebu Technological University agreed with what Caparros said.
Arabis said while he won’t stop using Facebook, he will be more proactive in building real world relationships.
“Kon unsa ta kaguihan mag-Facebook, dapat ing-ana sad ta sa pageskwela (We should study as often as we use Facebook),” Arabis said. /Delta Dyrecka Letigio USJ-R Journalism Intern
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