Freshman Voice: Teenage Zombie

How often do you find yourself on the Instagram explore page watching useless videos until you can feel your brain start to melt out of your ears? Probably more than you’d like to admit. The algorithms Instagram uses provides the perfect media for your consumption without end. I know I could lay in my bed and watch Instagram cooking and DIY videos for hours. This is not an exaggeration, I truly think if there was a worldwide contest to see who could ingest the most irrelevant media on a daily basis I would make it in the top three.

My Snapchat news feed days after wide fires and mass shootings. (Shannon Murray)

No, I do not take pride in this, but I do understand that I am a teenage zombie. One definition of a zombie defined by Your Dictionary is “A computer connected to the internet and controlled by a remote unauthorized user to perform malicious tasks, without the owner being aware.” If that isn’t teenagers today, then I do not know what is. Everywhere you look, students are aimlessly looking at the newest Snapchat and Instagram stories. This what I like to call being controlled by the device. It is terrifying really.

An article from the Guardian states that “Today, the average weekly screen time for an American adult – brace yourself; this is not a typo – is 74 hours (and still going up).” This statistic is just for grown adults! There are only 168 hours in given week, and I’m willing to bet for College of Charleston students, the numbers for screen time are even higher.

CNN says that 50% of teens are addicted to their phones. When there are apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook it is so easy to get lost in a black hole of useless media. Those Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Tasty and Buzzfeed articles on your Snapchat hold the importance of the Kardashian’s new baby bumps over natural disasters and mass shootings. I do realize that for most, these apps are just a way to ‘escape’ reality, but for others it is the only news they see all day.

So here’s the rundown:

  • Instagram videos are truly addicting
  • We spend about 9 hours a day in front of a screen
  • Half of teens are addicted to their phones
  • Not much is being done to stop this

Deny it all you want but those are the facts. No, they’re not exactly shocking, but if I’m being honest, I don’t want there to be a big change to happen in media consumption. I genuinely like checking my social media no matter if I actually care about what the person is doing or not. It feels safe even if I am turning into a zombie.

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Shannon Murray is a junior communications major with a minor in astronomy. Shannon is CisternYard’s opinions editor, and owns two overweight cats who share the same name. When she isn't doing school work, she can be found shopping at goodwill or going to concerts.

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