Goodbye, Instagram

Students say goodbye to their favorite social media distraction.

Grace Laverriere, Staff Writer

“No internet connection,” reads the harsh red rectangle. This glaring reminder at the top of the screen reminds student that their favorite social media app has been blocked. For most of the 2018 school year, the social media app Instagram has been blocked from being used on school wifi. However productive this may be at limiting the student use of phones during school hours, it mostly has caused frustration.

The distraction Instagram and other social media apps have creates a huge problem within classes. It is far too easy for students to become enthralled in their smartphones. But when and where is it okay to be on your phone? The student handbook states that students are only allowed to use their phone before school, between classes, at lunch, and after school. This rule has become more and more lenient, but it is ultimately up to the teacher’s discretion. Some teachers choose to have students put their phones in pockets or in cubbies, but even then phones still manage to cause problems in certain classrooms.

Blocking Instagram is another way to eliminate the diversion phones cause. However, there are more purposes Instagram serves just than as a convenient distraction. Instagram can be used as a way to contact people through direct messages or even a source of information. Certain BHS clubs or organizations have Instagram pages that display information to students. Social media apps are more than just an easy distraction. Blocking only Instagram and not other social media such as Twitter or Snapchat defeats the purpose of what the students believe to be the true motive. Twitter is the main source of information for many of the administrators. It’s an easy and efficient way to communicate material to the student body and beyond. Of course Twitter can’t be blocked. It allows for another source of information while going against the rule of no phones. It is very counterproductive.

While I completely understand the attempt to eliminate the distractions within the classroom, blocking the app cannot completely take it away. Some students can still use it during the day since it isn’t always completely blocked. Even when it won’t work, kids who want to be on their phones will simply switch to a different app. Blocking Instagram doesn’t eliminate phones as distractions. This allows students to look further to find other distractions, such as Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook.

The only way to actually eliminate phones as a disturbance in the classroom is to be more strict with the rule. This doesn’t mean taking away the phones, but making clear cut rules that erase any confusion on when an appropriate time is to be on phones. Phones are not going to go away completely.  

The constant distraction social media poses during school hours is a difficult problem to solve. Whatever your feelings on the subject, it does eliminate one of many distractions in an education institution.