Unpopular opinion: Social media is overrated


Graphic created by Grace O’Neil.

As teenagers, we are told by older generations that we do nothing but sit on our phones all day playing games, texting our friends, or spending time on pointless social media. 


There are so many different uses for social media, yet none of them are necessarily beneficial and can easily be countered. Not to mention they are addictive. I’ve spent countless hours scrolling through posts on Instagram and tried to keep up with the trends. Needless to say, that didn’t work out for me. But it did lead me to believe that social media in any form is overrated.


Our generation is too focused on the likes we get on Instagram and trying to make sure any picture we post doesn’t reveal any of our flaws. But we are all human and have countless flaws. Yet, in the few moments that followed hitting the small post button, my phone would blow up with notifications of friends liking my post and girls commenting how cute it was and building up my confidence. It was a nice feeling. However, when compared to the comments my friends make that aren’t on social media, those likes mean nothing. 


I was focusing way too much on what people who haven’t spoken to me since middle school thought and whether or not they liked my post of a flower. I was comparing the likes on photos I had posted in the past, trying to find the trends. I couldn’t understand why that was so important to me, and I still don’t. I just knew I was tired of feeling dependent on the thoughts of others, so I made a bold decision—I removed social media from my home screen and deleted Facebook. 


After a week, I noticed how much less I thought about the apps since they were no longer the first thing I saw when I unlocked my phone. I’ve even thought about deleting the apps, and I have deleted some. But I keep the last few because it makes me question who I would be without them. And that, that is why social media is overrated. If you can’t go a day without clicking on the apps, or you have to question who you are because of an app, then something isn’t right. 


I’m tired of seeing pictures of other teenage girls and feeling the need to compare myself to them. I’m tired of seeing posts that make me feel the need to justify my opinions. I’m not a very political person, but the last couple of years on Facebook, I have felt compelled to respond to others’ posts which ultimately left me frustrated and stressed. I deleted the app in 2020 and have opened it from my laptop a total of three times since. 


I understand social media is a valid way of communication between friends and family, which is part of the reason I’ve kept some of the apps. However, I would rather be contacted by a text or call. I have a phone number for a reason. 


Every once in a while I will open Instagram and see the cute pictures of my little cousins and see what my favorite authors are working on, but I still see posts that make me question myself. One of these days, I probably will end up deleting the app altogether, so if you need me, don’t DM me.