The Spiraling Increase of Social Media Use In The GMS Community


By, Xiaoyu Speede and Brooke Ehmann – Jones

October 30, 2020

In this time of social isolation, it’s extremely important that we take advantage of technology, especially the endless list of social media platforms that we can use. Staying connected and up to date with news is very important at Glasgow Middle School. Ever since the quarantine began, students at Glasgow have reported that they have used social media to learn new hobbies such as drawing, staying politically “woke” and active, and connecting with their friends, much more than the beginning of the coronavirus. The spiraling increase of social media use through Glasgow has also taken a toll on many social media companies. In fact, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram relished in a 40% mid-March usage spike as a direct result of Covid-19.

Students at Glasgow mainly use two social media apps; a video-telephony app called Zoom, and a video sharing service called TikTok. Not only do social media platforms have an increase in usage, but also the amount of screen time students spend on these platforms a day. The majority of responses reported a 75% increase in screen time since the quarantine started, and 25% usage stayed the same. On average, students spend 2 – 5 hours on social media a day, during and after school. Using our data, we found that students that have phones generally spend more time on social media. The convenience of these social media platforms can take away from students’ learning time. Social media platforms are specifically designed to grab people’s attention and keep people on for as long as possible on a never-ending journey filled with surprises and treats. This intelligent marketing tactic will keep students using their platform for longer periods of time, and will distract them from completing their school work.

Student’s social media usage also affects their lives outside of school. The increase in screen time leads to less time spent with family, friends, and pets. Students do get to connect with people on social media, through posts and comments, but they do not get the in person social experience.

Social media can be fun and entertaining, but once in a while, people learn or experience negative things on social media. Students responded that there are a lot of hateful posts and messages on social media, concerning Covid-19, body images, and other global news. However, social media can have it’s positive aspects such as people being supportive and kind, and being educated on global and environmental issues like, for example: the Black Lives Matter movement.