Since social media is everywhere, there has to be a balance between the world we create and share online, the life we lead, and the responsibilities we have every day. With all the social media websites and apps nowadays, instant communication and information is at the touch of our finger tips. Young Latinas have been brought up in a world of technology and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you have a healthy balance between your everyday life and your social media world.
Social media is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. A place where you can communicate with friends and family, as well as express yourself and share different occasions in your life with your loved ones, but there can also be cons if you allow it to consume your life.
According to a 2015 survey by Pew Research Center, “92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online ‘almost constantly.'” Furthermore, the “Hispanic youth report more frequent internet use than white teens, at 32% compared to 19%.” Results of the survey indicate that “Girls dominate social media while boys are more likely to play video games.” It is obvious that us girls love our Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and texting, but there is more to enjoy then just our phones. Here are five tips that will allow all you to have the best of both worlds:
1. Turn Your Phone Off at School
School is important and it’s one of your most important responsibilities as a young girl. I know, I know, one thing you always hear is no phones in class, but it is very important not allow your social media, whether it be text messages, Instagram, twitter, etc. to distract you from your school work. There will be time later on to check your phone and post what you want, but school is not the place or time.
2. Call a Friend Instead of Texting
We all love to text; it’s easy, fast, and even fun, but why not call a friend up and see how they are doing. We would all rather hangout with friends and family then to just text them, but the next best thing is to hear their voice. Phone conversations are a great way to communicate with the people you want to talk to without having to constantly check your phone. Your parents will think you are more mature as well!
3. No Phones at the Table
Hectic days sometimes means that we don’t always get to spend enough time with our family. For a Latino family, eating with your family is very important. It’s a time to have a conversation, know what everyone is up to, and laugh. Many of us bring our phones everywhere, and I mean everywhere, but when it’s time to eat with our family we should reserve that time for just that and put the phones away.
Faith, 9, says “I put my phone away or leave it at home, or put it on silent so it doesn’t interfere with my life.”
4. Your Phone Should have a Bedtime, too
Okay, I know it sounds funny, but when we have our phones with us in bed we tend to stay on them. Then, an hour has passed and you were supposed to be asleep two hours ago! I’m guilty of this myself, but when I do put my phone aside before I go to bed, I get to sleep faster and I’m better rested in the morning.
5. Make time for Face-to-Face Contact
Our phones are our life, at least it may seem that way when we’re young, but what is really important is the relationships we have with each other, more importantly the quality of those relationships. Spending time with the ones we love, and hanging out with friends, are the memories that will last a lifetime. So put down the phone, not forever, but just for a while and go spend time with a good friend.
Many young girls agree that there should be a healthy balance between social media and real life. Some even prefer not to use their phones as much. Emily, 17, says “Having to look down at a keyboard rather than looking up at pair of eyes makes me feel more confined to technology than reality.”
Another way not to always spend so much time on your phones is doing something you enjoy. Feliz, 14, says: “Once you find a hobby that you are passionate about will help you connect to the outside world. You can meet new people, go to new places, and experience life so much better rather than being on your phone. It will open so many more opportunities for you.”
As long as you know the time and the place to use your phone, technology won’t affect you negatively. Social media is fun, and who can’t resist sharing a picture of their abulita’s delicious food, or taking selfies at your familia’s fiesta, or sharing a cute pic of your dog, but sometimes moments are best experienced without a phone.