Increased Social Media Use Over The Summer


Samantha Wai '25

Students share their social media profiles on SHC’s plaza.

The words “social media ” bring to mind influential networks like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, and more. We think of how it has improved our lives socially by connecting us with people around the world and how it has entertained us immensely. Many people especially think about social media’s prominence in our lives during summer: the two and half months every year when we can sit down and relax without caring about what test we have to study for or what time we have to meet for a club. But with all that time on our hands, many high school students tend to focus on social media as the one thing that can keep them entertained and connected through the digital world. It may not be uncommon to see many people posting videos and images of themselves and a variety of other things during the school year, but in my personal experience, summer washes over those things with a unique, new vibe. During the summer, social media sites are flooded with vacation documentation and youth reveling in their freedom from school. I see people volunteering at a summer camp or working in a job that offers them the joy of buying things with their own money. People can finally hang out at the beach and the mall, go on sightseeing road trips, play games and sports whenever they want to, and so much more! All that joy and fun is reflected in posts related to friends and strangers around the world. This begs the question: in what ways has social media use changed during the months of summer, and what other content differences have people seen on it the most over that time period? Has it played a large role in students’ summers, and how can people replace its consumption with more productivity? 

As previously stated, the summer brings a shift in the things we see and hear on social media. I saw people doing things that I sometimes wish I was doing. There are plenty of fun things to do over the summer, but just seeing people doing seemingly better things while I would sit at home doing nothing occasionally brought a twinge of jealousy to my mind. I am sure that many others have felt the same way. This and other variables were actually why social media use increased over the summer. For example, people who feel like they have nothing to do could use social media as an outlet for their boredom, whether it be to watch entertaining videos or talk to friends and family. Others used it to document what they were doing over the summer. With all the possibilities that summer brings, it is natural to want to show others what you have been up to. It is true that it could bring a little bit of “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) to some people, but for the most part, documenting what you love is a fun way to use social media. These are just some of the ways that people contributed to its seemingly increased popularity over the summer.

With that being said, the Emerald asked students at SHC about their take on social media use over the summer. Many students seem to have used social media for a variety of purposes during this time, while others had so many activities that they did not even have time to look at it. Zoe Tauber ‘25 shares how her social media intake did not increase, explaining, “I was backcountry and camping for a lot of this summer and that made it so I could not connect with my friends on my phone.” Meanwhile, Sey de Jesus ‘26 says that “Going into high school, social media use has grown for me tremendously. I mostly see SHCP-related posts on my Instagram feed and stories and I talk to a lot more people on my Snapchat.”  Despite the variety of responses, a majority of people asked noted that their social media use increased over the summer. 

Some were able to take advantage of it to get to know their new SHC community. Freshman Sofia Rapadas said, “Social media this summer has helped me know my SHCP community better. I like how Instagram can recommend people to you, and it’s nice when I know that they are from SHCP.” Upperclassmen used it to keep in touch with friends and current events, as well as for some mindless entertainment that simply allowed them to relax and escape the stress of the previous school year. Addison Brewer-Hay ‘24 shares, “Recently, I’ve seen a lot of reposts of different celebrities, such as Taylor Swift with her new album. Also, I’ve seen a lot about Roe v. Wade. I feel over the summer it’s become more and more of an outlet for expressing different opinions and interests.” Gabriel Delgado ‘24 shares a differing response, describing that he used social media to “post stupid stuff and thoughts and consume stupid stuff and content.” Social media has, in fact, played a significant role in most people’s summer, adding a little bit more joy to the break. Through all of the students’ changes in lifestyle from the school year to summer, social media continued to be a part of their lives.

Unfortunately, social media use is not always healthy, especially when there are so many other ways to fill the break time. Students can get ahead by getting involved in their communities by volunteering or getting a job, or starting to tour college campuses. Setting new goals can also be beneficial. Maybe you want to exercise more or take up a brand new skill. Summer is the perfect time to do that! Another productive option is working through your school responsibilities such as homework or online class at the beginning of the summer. These are just a few ways you can balance both social media and productivity to provide yourself with a healthy and enjoyable summer experience. Knowing how much is enough is a good tool for having a memorable summer.

Social media has indeed been a huge part of the summer for high school students and youth. From entertainment to friend group updates and so much more, it has proved to be a very helpful, fun, and interesting tool for us. Living in an era full of new technology and vast amounts of media content, social media’s prominence is natural in our lives, which is why it constantly grows and changes along with the different events happening with us. Even though we should definitely try to balance social media and productivity over the summer, it is good to know that social media can be there for us, affecting our lives in its unique ways.