Fallon Parrish, 10
I don’t have social media of any kind. When I got my first phone in sixth grade, I didn't tell any of my friends. I only allowed my mom to text me, because I didn’t like the idea of everyone being able to reach me at any time and expecting me to answer them. Eventually, I passed out my phone number, and it was just how I expected.
People would text me random things just so they could text. I have always preferred seeing people in person as opposed to texting them. As time went on, I adjusted, and now I enjoy being able to talk to people at anytime. As I went into seventh grade, everyone began to delve into Instagram. I just never had any interest in allowing all my friends to see what I am doing all the time. I do many fun things, but I don’t always take pictures wherever I go, so I would have few photos to post anyway.
One upside to no one seeing what I am doing is being able to tell them in person. I was always able to tell people verbally what I have been doing and show them pictures in person. I watched my other friends run out of things to discuss because they have all seen each others’ Instagrams. So when they are spending time together, they stop talking and turn to scroll through Instagram.
A downside of not having the app was that I felt like I was out of the loop. Some people would discuss their most recent post, and I would have nothing to say. Or they would complain about a recent update, leaving me with nothing to add. But this feeling was not enough to convince me. I preferred to spend my time drawing, reading, and playing sports, and then checking my phone.
Even at James River, I see people walking in the hallways or in class scrolling through Instagram. Then the Snapchat frenzy hit. Snapchat struck me as dangerous. The app says that the pictures disappear once they are viewed, but nothing really disappears. This may lure teenagers into thinking they can send whatever they want, and no one will see it. This is not true. So, I decided to not download it. This left me more out of the loop.
That is one downside to no social media. I constantly feel as if I don’t understand what people are talking about, but I am usually able to clue in later in the conversation. Many people say they use social media to better connect with people. I understand this, but I use texting, and I feel connected enough that. I see my friends everyday in person, which I prefer to a digital communication.
When I tell people I have no social media, they assume it is my parents’ rule, but it is a choice. I hope that after reading this, you will consider how much time you spend a day looking at your phone. How much of that time could go towards other things?