Social media may be entertaining and even informative, but it is also a weapon in disguise. Without discipline, one can easily find his or herself being sucked into a vortex of distracted procrastination. This interference is why college students should consider deleting social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter off of their phone.
According to a poll from the Washington Post, 88 percent of college students have reported procrastinating on schoolwork. Fifty-three percent reported that they spent this time procrastinating on social media. This type of distracted behavior is becoming an epidemic, as Americans check social media apps an average of 17 times a day.
Jeffrey Treem, assistant professor of communication studies at UT, noted the constant access students have to social media through their mobile devices.
“Students increasingly use mobile phones as their primary means of accessing social media platforms,” Treem said. “This means access to social media is literally in their hands, pockets, purses all day and likely right by their bedsides at night.”
Deleting these apps off one’s phone will take away the instant access of the platforms, which can ultimately result in less distracted procrastination when studying or doing homework. Deleting these apps does not mean becoming a social media recluse, and it will not stop students from opening up their laptop and logging onto Facebook or Twitter. However, it may decrease the average 4.7 hours a day Americans spend on their smartphones, and lead to students who become less inclined to constantly check the platforms by nature of not having them ready at hand 24/7.
Robert Quigley, senior lecturer in the UT School of Journalism, said he believes social media has made it harder for people to focus on a task at hand.
“I think social media has definitely made it more difficult to focus on work and not just for students,” Quigley said. “It’s hard to stay disciplined and on task when you have so much content at your fingertips.”
Social media is not inherently evil. It has many positive aspects, especially when it comes to keeping current news and keeping connections with old friends. However, it becomes a problem when mindless scrolling through a feed replaces what is supposed to be schoolwork. If you feel like social media has consumed your life, delete your apps: The same breaking news and latest gossip will still be there after you finish your homework and will be just as shocking.
Vernon is a PACE freshman from Houston. Follow Vernon on Twitter @_emilyvernon_.