South Students Choose to Stay Off the Grid

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Katie Apple, Staff writer

Social media and the internet have taken over the world, making it easier than ever for people to communicate and keep in touch. According to this year’s digital report published by website WeAreSocial, there are currently 3.77 billion internet and 2.80 billion social media users worldwide. Statista reported that in 2017 approximately 81 percent of Indiana’s population has some type of a social media profile.

“This [doesn’t] surprise me because social media is a very quick and effective way to communicate with friends and family,” said sophomore Tyler Chamberlain when given the statistics. “Even elderly people who aren’t very technologically advanced will make Facebook accounts to stay updated”.

After staying off the grid Chamberlain has just recently branched out to being involved within the social world himself. He said that he usually just enjoys texting because it’s “[his] favorite way of communication…” but after a friend made a Snapchat account for him Chamberlain explained that the app has been fun too.

However, not everyone has dived into the world of Facebook and Snapchat. In fact, there are several students at South who do not even own a smartphone.

Freshman Larissa Callahan has a simple phone that receives internet, but she decides “not to use it because it’s complicated”. Larissa said that she also does not have any social media because her mom “doesn’t want [creepy] people stalking [her]”.

“I’m a bit jealous of my friends that do have social media because they get to see [things like] posts and [invitations] that I will never hear about,” said Callahan.

Sophomore Zipporah Streiff  is another student without a smartphone, and she is not involved with the world of social media either. Although Streiff has chosen herself to stay off the grid, she does not look down upon the internet and electronic devices. Instead, she sees them as something “that’s not going to go away” and acknowledges that “computer technology has helped more than it has hurt.”

In addition to students without smartphones, there are some who do own the special phones but choose to stay away from social media regardless. Sophomore Ethan Upchurch has taken this route.

“There’s a lot of gossip that goes around on social media, and I don’t want to be a part [of it],” said Upchurch, “but sometimes it would be nice to have it because a lot of people, in order to get in touch with them you have to have [some form of social media].”