The other night when my parents were out on a date getting ice cream, they observed a teenage couple who obviously were also on a date. This couple’s intent was good, they wanted to spend time with each other and have a fun evening, but they hardly talked because they were so distracted by their phones, texting and talking with people who weren’t there.
In July 2012, the United States spent 121 billion minutes, 230,060 years, on social media websites. Though many of these sites, like Facebook, were invented as a means for people to make friends and communicate easily, they now hinder our social interaction. The immense amount of time spent on these sites could be allocated to something more productive and focused towards personal development, as well as the development of relationships.
Most of the things teenagers twiddle away their time doing (like texting and Facebook) are not terrible or morally wrong things. These things are a safe way for teenagers to stay entertained and communicate with those they care about. Though social media does have positive aspects, there are much better things that we can do with our time. Dallin H. Oaks said “The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.”
Though social networking is entertaining and relaxing, it only brings temporary fun. The best uses of time create lasting joy. During the holiday season there is an increased opportunity to spend time with loved ones and use time to express gratitude for what we’ve been blessed with. Regardless of decisions made, time will always pass at the same pace. Choose to spend your time well and give an hour to your friends and family instead of your computer.
Claire Kincaid is a student at Soldotna High School.