Allow students access to Instagram and Snapchat

Hailey Swisher, Staff Writer

We go online for practically everything: news, weather, shopping—even our everyday conversations. Social media has especially taken over in the sense that we use it as our means of communication.

Texting can cause so much confusion and oftentimes leads to miscommunication when a text is taken the wrong way. However, the  app Snapchat eliminates this issue because it allows its users to express themselves and their emotions to others during conversation.

As I’m sure plenty have noticed, the wifi has been disabled for both Instagram and Snapchat while students are in the school building. When students try to use these two social media apps, they don’t refresh so you aren’t able to see any new posts or texts until you’re in a region where you have access to LTE or other wifi.

This has created a plethora of issues for students who use these apps as their main form of communication.

“It’s difficult to adjust to, since I use it as my main form of communication. It’s especially difficult when I’m working on projects with other students from the school and I’m not able to contact them,” said senior Caitlin Sarver on her experience with dealing with the adjustment.

This controversy has two different perspectives: one from students who are upset they are being isolated from social media, and one from administration who say the apps clog the wifi and distract students from learning.

“The wifi is provided to students to use for academic purposes,” Chief Technology Officer Jordan Salus said. “Last year, during prom weekend, the app Instagram was responsible for two thirds of the schools wifi usage.”

This alarming statistic is something that all of us should keep in mind to better regulate our own personal usage. Though this statistic is bad, I think the real question is whether or not social media was being used during class time.

The only time students really use their phone for social media is during down time, because in class they are preoccupied.

If the issue is not impacting students’ learning abilities or teachers’ teaching abilities, then the issue is not extreme enough to disable the wifi on the two apps for all people in the building.

Throughout my high school career, I have never been in a class where a student refused to stop using their phone when asked, nor have I seen a student’s phone interfere with their learning abilities.

Even if it was a huge issue in classrooms, couldn’t teachers simply gather students’ phones at the beginning of the period to solve the issue?

Why is it that as an 18-year-old, I’m being restricted from checking my texts and recent posts during my lunch or study hall?

As I near the end of my final year of high school I’m able to reflect on some of what I’ve learned, and one of the lessons I am reminded of every single day is how to manage my social media usage with the work I need to get done.

Access to social media in general has taught me what my own limits are with usage and how to realize when I need to focus on school work rather than my phone. So why is it that rather than teaching us social media’s proper usage and limitations, we have been cut off from it all together?

Socially, school is supposed to be a place that students want to go to and if the access to their world is cut off, school will seem less “friendly” of a place.