Las Vegas Sun

January 21, 2019

Currently: 52° — Complete forecast

WHERE I STAND:

Moderation is key in social media use

This was my second year attending the Sun Youth Forum, and compared with last year, the participants in my room were far more opinionated and expressive about the issues at hand.

Click to enlarge photo

Student representative Tekembe Antonio, of Mojave High School, poses during the 62nd annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum at the Las Vegas Convention Center Thursday Nov. 29, 2018.

The topic of social media addiction prompted a particularly energetic conversation, which lasted longer than our time constraints could hande.

Social media and technology play significant roles in our lives, and are practically essential in the lives of Generation Z. One student, Makiah, offered especially interesting input by addressing the topic from a biological perspective, informing us that the sound of social media notifications has been scientifically proven to prompt the body to produce adrenaline.

Our group concluded that healthier and smaller doses of social media would be beneficial. Instead of being used to focus on the dismal aspects of life and deepen people’s insecurities, positive uses include inspiring innovation, growing small- or medium-sized businesses, helping individuals strengthen their communication skills and encouraging young people to pursue an artistic craft or a constructive hobby.

Together, we can redefine the meaning of communication. Together, we can redefine the meaning of youth.

The second topic we discussed at great length was: “America has been known as the land of the free; are we as free as we think we are? What does freedom mean to the average American?”

Amid raised voices, welled-up tears and many controversial opinions, we discussed how Americans enjoy freedom of expression in religion, diction, opinion and virtually anything else you can think of that hasn’t expressly been ruled illegal. But our freedom of expression also allows many Americans to voice hate.

In summation, I’ll cherish my experience at the Sun Youth Forum for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion to fellow students who possess both compassionate hearts and caring ears.

Tekembe Antonio is a senior at Mojave High School.