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OPINION: Social media has a negative effect on our self-esteem

Cell phones are ruining the college experience.

The superficial nature in students that social media enforces has become an underlying problem on campuses nationwide.

On any given day, you can walk across Central Michigan University’s campus and expect to see the tops of the heads of at least three-fourths of people you pass.

People are more comfortable looking down at their phones than making eye contact or even smiling at someone else.

We tend to feel more comfortable checking our phone between classes rather than socializing. We are more at ease seeing status updates than raising our hand in class.

Some people go out on the weekend purely to get a good picture to post for the sake of getting “likes” or “favorites.” They are focused on looking like they are having a good time rather than actually having fun.

Similarly, some young people idolize celebrities and watch their every move online.

Numbers have become the most important aspect in the younger generation’s lives these days. These numbers can include anything from Facebook friends and Twitter followers to Instagram likes.

This need for online acceptance has increasingly lowered people’s self esteem.

When did this become the new norm? What caused students to favor technology over personal interactions? What kind of accomplishment is 300 likes on an Instagram picture?

Students are so heavily focused on the upkeep of their online appearance, they tend to miss out on the more important things in life.

College should be all about discovering yourself and creating lifelong memories. No amount of favorites or likes will ever amount to that.

Happiness is not based on of how you display yourself to others on social media. Self-worth can and should come from achievements, goals, and values.

I’m not sure it was ever the intention of social media to ruin person-to-person communication, but here we are with an issue that needs to be addressed.

We need to stop being obsessed with what our peers think of us, and start doing things to benefit others and ourselves.

College students have so much more potential than being trapped in the social media realm.

Artificial acceptance will never make anyone truly happy.