Students increase social media use over stay-at-home order

By Diana Anghel, Assistant News Editor

As the stay-at-home order forces students to find use of their time during quarantine, more time is being spent on social media platforms, including Snapchat, Instagram and the growing app Tiktok. 

Based on a new report released by App Annie, a global provider of mobile market data, phone usage worldwide has gone up by 20% during the COVID pandemic. Nathan Chung, freshman in Engineering, said he has doubled his time spent on his phone.

“I used to average six to seven hours a day and I’ve doubled that to 12 hours,” Chung said. 

An effective way to set limitations of screen time is to place time limits for each app. Many apps, including Instagram and Tiktok, have an internalized setting of placing time limits; however, one can do this by using specific phone settings as well.

“Actually this week, I’ve dropped dramatically because I started adding time restrictions on apps,” Chung said. “It gives you a notification letting you know that you’ve reached your time limit for the day.”

Other students see the overall increased social media use as a positive. Grace Dumstorff, freshman in General Studies, said she enjoys receiving more direct messages, funny memes and posts from her friends during this time because “everyone is using their phones all the time.” 

Increased online interaction has highlighted Snapchat as a communication staple for the current students’ generation. 

“I also have been using FaceTime to keep in touch with friends, but Snapchat is definitely what our generation resorts to most,” said Hayley Christine, sophomore in AHS, in an email. 

Christine has used her time to start an online clothing brand during the stay-at-home order, using Instagram as her advertising platform. 

“I have found ways to use social media in creative ways, like finding what to cook, how to redecorate my room and starting my new clothing shop,” Christine said. “By using Instagram, I can also turn my platform into a business platform, in order to see how many views I have to review how much interest there is in my product.”

Based on a report by NapoleonCat, a social media marketing tool that provides analytics, Facebook saw an increase of 2.5% and Instagram of 3.7% in U.S. social media users from February to March. 

Other nations that have been heavily impacted by the pandemic experienced a similar trend. Facebook Messenger users in Italy increased by 2.5% and by 10.5% in Spain. 

“I see increased social media use as a very positive thing at this time, as long as you’re only using it to spread positive information,” Christine said. 

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