• Lauren Hanzel

Reflections on social media's presence

The recent Facebook and Instagram shutdown caused Lauren to reflect upon social media's presence in our lives.


What did you do when Facebook and Instagram were shut down? If you’re anything like me, maybe

you didn’t notice until you tried to send a message to someone on social media. Maybe you

were going to check it while in line somewhere or simply out of habit because you were bored.


When two of the biggest social platforms went down for hours on October 4, it made me reflect on

how much time I had spent on it for leisure. Social media certainly has its place in the world and

has provided revolutionary platforms for communication, small businesses, and life updates. At

the same time, how much of it really matters?


Social media is certainly known to be an addiction but in some contexts, a necessary evil. As a

marketing director for an organization on campus, Instagram is how I spread news and event

information for campus events. For businesses that run on social media, the only way they

spread information is through those platforms, and without them, they shut down.


When thinking about leisure time though, I wondered how much of my scrolling actually

mattered. While I followed a few informational accounts and business accounts I correspond

with, a large majority are people that I graduated high school with or met in my first week of

college. Only a small number were people that I talked to on a regular basis or reconnected with

every couple of months.


Although it is tempting to advocate deleting social media altogether, I’m still not so sure that’s

the answer for everyone. With businesses, social advocacy, and the spread of good messages that can make people feel more connected, it is difficult to argue that social media should be gone for

good. What I can get behind though is using it for a purpose, rather than scrolling through accounts that don't add anything to your goals.