Educational Tour Visits the Good Ole South

This year the Educational class at Andrews Academy toured several southern states including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky. The students were told in advance the places they were going to More »


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Educational Tour Visits the Good Ole South


This year the Educational class at Andrews Academy toured several southern states including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky. The students were told in advance the places they were going to visit, which gave them the opportunity to research the various sites for the upcoming tour. On Friday, April 22nd, at the crack of dawn, thirty-one Educational tour participants headed out to the southern states for a week to learn about the rich history which the South holds.

The first state the students visited was Georgia. They spent the first three days in Atlanta touring the famous sites of the city. On the first day, they visited the Georgia Aquarium, which is the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere. At the Georgia Aquarium they saw many kinds of fish, dolphins, penguins, seals, otters, sharks and many other of God’s creatures. Andrews Academy student Nick Hutchings said, “My favorite thing was the Georgia Aquarium because I loved seeing the creatures that I have never seen before.”IMG_0935


Then the tour group continued on to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, which includes the Ebenezer Baptist church, where Dr. King had previously been one of the church pastors, and the Civil Rights museum. They also saw Dr. King’s and his wife Coretta’s tombstone. When they were done with visiting the King Center site, the students sat on the lawn and reflected on what they had just experienced.

IMG_0937“I enjoyed the MLK exhibit. If it wasn’t for the sacrifices of the people in the Civil Rights movement,” said Victoria Carmona, “we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The historic site held meaning for many besides Victoria. Mr. David Sherman said, “Every time, I visit it’s still as remarkable as the first. It is amazing how far we have come. And just seeing this is a great reminder of the love and diversity we share here.”

The group concluded the day with the Atlanta Zoo. Some of the animals they saw were elephants, giraffes, lions and many other animals. There was a train which gave a tour of some of the animals at the zoo park. “I enjoyed seeing the pandas,” says Emman Saint-Phard.

On Sunday morning, the second day of the tour, students toured CNN to see how broadcasting takes place. Jessica Grzybowski said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the CNN tour, getting to see the behind the scenes of what really happens and how much work it takes to broadcast the show on the air.”
After visiting CNN, the tour departed for the World of Coca-Cola Museum. Each student received a free coke as a gift when they entered the company. There were many different stations such as 4D-theater, the vault containing Coke’s secret recipe, and everyone’s favorite Taste it, where students could taste different kinds of Coke flavors from all over the world.

In the afternoon, the group attended a Major League Baseball game at Turner Field. The Atlanta Braves, who are in their last year of playing at Turner Field, faced off against the New York Mets. Fans did the “tomahawk chop” every time the Braves did well, which was fun. Alex Baltazar said, “Turner Field was great, and I really enjoyed being in the atmosphere.”
Before departing Atlanta, the group visited the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum on Monday. There they learned about the many accomplishments of President Carter and what he contributed to this country.

Later, in Macon, GA, they stopped at the Ocmulgee National Monument to view an Indian ceremonial and burial mound. Soon after that they reached Savanah, GA, where the students had free time to roam and to sight-see at the different shops and restaurants on River Street. This historical street was a bustling seaport that housed most of the cotton and tobacco grown in the South as it was sold and shipped out to all parts of the world. Some students and sponsors stopped Vinnie Van Go Go’s, a famous pizzeria where once slice of pizza is bigger than the whole plate.

The next day, participants went on to the Savannah History Museum and took a tour ride on the trolley which took them to historic homes, churches, and cemeteries that were part of the making of this country. The hometown tour guide was very informative and amusing through humorous tales and fun facts.

“The trolley tour was my favorite. Downtown had so many historic homes, schools, hospitals and many other places. I didn’t know that Savannah held so much history,” said Alia Pellegrini.

Arriving in the beautiful state of South Carolina, the students toured Boone Hall Plantation, one of America’s oldest working, living plantations. There students heard a skit performed by a third-generation Gullah woman, whose grandmother grew up and worked nearby. Her rousing stories and songs brought to life the slaves’ experience on the plantation. Students then saw and crowded into a brick slave cabin that would have housed four families during the height of the plantation. Cotton was a main crop on the plantation, so the students were able to touch and pick cotton. In more recent times, Boone Hall has been the site of many weddings like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds and motion films such as the Notebook.IMG_7542

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union and, as such, is filled with historic Civil War sites and artifacts. The Hunley, which was the first combat submarine to sink a warship, was the next stop. Beyond just seeing the submarine, students learned that there are many theories about what actually happened, although no one really knows for sure.

Later in the day, tour participants got to shop and eat downtown in Charleston, trying their different traditional foods that they offer in the historic district and shopping at the city-market.
After those adventures, the tour group headed over to Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum, where they got a chance to see and tour USS Laffey, a destroyer, USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier, and USS Clamagore, a submarine. The museum recreated each place to what it would’ve been like then. “Patriot’s Point was my favorite. It was cool to see each thing, especially since I’m going to be in the Navy,” said Ryan Mutz.

IMG_7538Afterwards, the group took a ferry to Fort Sumter where the confederate army fired the first official shot of the civil war. And since that was the last tour of the day of Fort Sumter, students got to help by lowering the American flag and folding it. “It was a very humbling and morbid experience knowing that right where we were standing was the spark that led 600,000 Americans to their deaths, yet a very patriotic experience because without their sacrifice, America would not be what it is today,” stated Jacob Mondak.

One of the favorite places the students visited was the Biltmore Estate located in Asheville, North Carolina, which was built by the Vanderbilt family from 1888-1895. It is said that you could fit three White Houses within the site. It is considered to be the largest home in the United States.
Justin Fraser shared, “I loved the Biltmore Estate. It was crazy to see how rich they were and one day I hope to have a castle like that.”

“Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film” was featuring wedding fashion from 19 classic movies set in the years 1645 to 1935, including three films based on the popular Jane Austen novels: Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Pride and Prejudice.

Katie Kurtz said, “I enjoyed the Biltmore the most. I love seeing the designs inside and outside of the house.”

The last attraction was the Slugger Museum located in Louisville, Kentucky. Many baseball and softball bats are made at this location. As the supplier for MLB, the factory has outfitted such greats as Derek Jeter and Jackie Robinson, to name a few. The museum highlighted not only the history of the baseball bats but the history of baseball.IMG_7539

This well-planned trip was filled with so many fun, educational, and inspiring places to see and experience. It also helped that the weather was nice and warm. Everyone on the trip came back with something that they didn’t know before. If you have an opportunity to go on Education Tour, I recommend it. The next tour will take place in 2017-2018, and the group will be traveling to England.

Are We Done Yet?

By: Jessica Newkirk

Senioritis: noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness and over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation. – Urban Dictionary

Spring has finally sprung in Southwest Michigan and so has a virus. Senioritis. The contagious disease everyone catches right before the semester ends. Seniors along with teachers start to feel the excitement of being finished with school. According to Mr. Wright, he began to notice the symptoms in November. When asked what he does to prevent it, he said that the only thing he does to keep the seniors from failing is reminding them that their grades are beginning to suffer. Otherwise there is nothing that he can really do to help them. And so the struggle to stay on top of things continues.

So why do we get this strange pandemic? As seniors we have gone through all of grade school and then four years of high school. We are ready to be done and move on to bigger things. In order to get there we have to finish the school year strong; however, we start to get lazy and stop worrying about our grades.

Abria, a Senior at Andrews Academy, says the thing that keeps her going is “knowing that it is almost over and that summer is coming.”

Yes, only a few weeks till the year is over and then we will be graduates. Only a few more weeks of homework and tests. Only a few more weeks of wearing uniforms. Soon it will be summer and you will be headed to being a college freshman.

As seniors prepare for graduation, they are feeling the joy and worry of what it will be like to be done with high school. Most are happy to leave but if each person were to be honest with themselves, they would agree that they are going to miss it. It might be rough right now, but don’t give up! Only a few more weeks are left of being on the top of the “food chain.” Soon you will be – once again – at the bottom. Don’t stress, and enjoy the last moments with your friends.

Raymond Spoon: A life spent in mission work

By: Charity Ogoti

Many students at Andrews Academy see Mr. Spoon, the building supervisor, working constantly to keep Andrews Academy a neat place. Others, who have jobs at the school as teachers’ assistants, get the opportunity to work side by side with Mr. Spoon. However, only a few actually know that Mr. Spoon was involved in missionary work before he began working at the academy.

For more than nine years, Raymond Spoon was involved in mission work. He spent more than six years on the island of Palawan, Philippines, and then another three years in the deep jungles of Papua New Guinea.

In 1991, Spoon, his wife Dawn, and his daughter Amber, went to the Philippines to start a new project in the mountains. Their main goals were to teach the Palawano people about God, meet their health needs, teach them about agriculture, and to start a school.

When they first arrived, they weren’t very familiar with the language. However, they were lucky to meet someone who spoke English and served as their guide.

In Palawan, the people were animist, meaning that they believed that there were spirits inhabiting different areas in their village like trees, and woods. They were very fearful of the spirits and believed that if  it was misty and they were outside, they would ran back to the house if they heard the call of a certain bird. As a result, it was Spoon’s calling to comfort the people and tell them they shouldn’t be afraid because God was with them. Spoon says that once the people saw that God was strong and powerful, they accepted the message. Spoon said they had two baptisms between 1995-96, and in 1998 there were 15 baptized church members.

Spoon and his wife also needed to meet the health needs of the Palawano people. When they first arrived, Spoon says that there was a 50% mortality rate because the people drank unsanitary water from the creeks; the same water they used to wash their clothes, utensils, and also to bathe. If someone was to catch a disease from this water, it was 95% fatal without medication. On one occasion, Spoon says a man came to them with a swollen tongue and his wife had to check to see if it was malignant or nonmalignant. The man could barely speak or swallow. His wife gave the man ibuprofen to prevent inflammation, and asked him to come back in a week or two for more medication. Usually, when asked to come, he says, the people would fail to return. However, after about two months, this man came back, thanking them for healing him, because he could now talk and swallow.

Another goal of theirs was to teach the people about agriculture and contour farming. Spoon says that the Palawano’s way of farming was slash and burn, meaning they cut down and burned off existing vegetation before new seeds were sown. However, he says, this was not sustainable because erosion and landslides would occur. As a result, he taught the people how to correctly plow and how to plant their beans and rice. On top of that, he adds, many of the people suffered from malnutrition because they didn’t eat any other foods but cassava, which was not very nutritious. Together, Spoon and his wife taught the people to rotate their meals.

At the end of Spoon and his family’s work, he says he was almost fluent in Palawanun and he can still recall some of the phrases he had learned. What was ironic, he says, is that upon returning to the states, his daughters were more fluent in Palawanun than in English.

“The most challenging thing about staying in the Philippines,” Spoon says, “was when my family members got sick with Malaria and almost died. Amber, my oldest daughter, spent weeks in the hospital with stage four Malaria and it was so severe. It was nearly as bad as having stage four cancer because there wasn’t so much hope to survival.”

“Even so, I recommend going to mission work because it turns your focus away from depending on temporary things, to depending on God. You begin to see how Satan is working in those peoples’ lives to turn their focus away from God, which is different from what your accustomed to at home. You begin to see how people struggle between good and evil. And then its really exciting to see God working on your behalf to change their hearts. As we were in Palawan, the Palawano people opened their hearts and began to trust us. My family and I always prayed they could see that it was really God who was working for them.”

In July of this year, Spoon plans on going back to the Philippines for two weeks because there will be a reunion for all the missionaries who worked there.



Quit Your Whining

By: Jessica

Today’s forecast consists of partially cloudy skies, some wind, and a whole lot of complaining. The room is too hot, now it’s too cold. Your hair is too curly and now it’s too straight. You didn’t get to play for the whole game so that’s the reason your team lost. We complain about everything: the weather, our clothes, our family, how we don’t have the newest phone yet, etc.

So why do we complain? For one, what better way to start up a conversation than to complain to your friends about all the homework the teachers give you or how your parents are always getting on your case. We complain when we are jealous, when we are unhappy, or when we need an excuse. We love to complain. It’s easy, so easy we often forget that we do it so often.

Sometimes we need to vent and get the things that are bothering us off our chests, but there is a time for everything and complaining all the time can get old. Soon your friends won’t want to have conversations as you find more and more to complain about. Complaining too much encourages laziness and assists in procrastination. Dr Robin Kowalski, professor of psychology at Clemson University, states that “They’ll take hours of your time telling you their problems-then they reject your help and don’t take one piece of advice you give them.”

Excessive complaining may cause more problems than it fixes. Using complaints to try and solve all your problems won’t get you anywhere. Sometimes you need to take action for yourself instead of waiting for someone else. What you say and how you act can also have an affect on others. Your negative attitude may begin to rub off on your associates. Our peers and children take note of the things they hear and see, and you may start seeing your own behavior reflected in them

A few ways to help you complain less is too try and stay positive, look for the good things in your life. When you feel the urge to complain about something, search for something to praise instead. Make a list of all the things that make your school, job, or home enjoyable.

When starting a conversation with a friend, try to start with something positive instead of heading straight to the gloomy department. Make it a habit to look at the cup half full instead of half empty. For example, when you realize it’s too cold to go outside, figure out all the relaxing things you can do inside. If someone cuts in front of you in traffic, consider the fact that they may be late to an appointment. Try to see things from another person’s point of view. Be open to knew ideas and opinions. This will help you be more empathetic. Make sure you are getting plenty of good food, water and sleep because this can affect your mood. Your outlook on life has a lot to do with how you react to things so try to stay positive and don’t forget to smile. :)



The Revenge of Sadie Hawkins: ‘Taking a Chance’

This year’s SA Banquet is Sadie Hawkins where the girls take the reins of asking guys to banquet, but some people are against this “outrageous” way ?

The great thing about Sadie Hawkins is gives the girls the chance to be able to choose their guy and make sure they have a date other than waiting for a guy to ask them or not. How many times does the same girl get asked to banquet? There are so many guys that attend the banquet and could have asked a girl who didn’t get asked already, but, no, the guys are too cowardly to go out of their comfort zone .The thing is when there are “regular” banquet with guys asking girls, it is frowned upon when girls ask guys even if the girls who weren’t asked wanted a date.

“It’s about time guys experience the anticipation of being asked or not to banquet. Numerous guys that don’t get asked or get nervous by being asked take it into their own hands by taking the liberty of asking the girl when the girl is supposed to ask the guy. It is embarrassing but yet proves the point that guys needs to stand up and take a chance to ask girls to the banquet when it’s their turn to ask. So the next time around guys should “man up” and ask a girl to the banquet.

Many girls that I talked to about asking guys were not fans of asking them by asking questions like “Why should I ask when they never ask me , it gives them power if I ask them to banquet when if it was a typical banquet they wouldn’t have the audacity to ask.

I have a friend that goes to an Adventist Day-Academy, told me that in order to go banquet you had to bring a date. She refused to bring a date, so she showed up by herself and come to find out, you really had to have a date or you can choose to sit a table around couples and feel extremely awkward like she did. Would more people get into “asking” people to the banquet if that was forced or would it decrease attendance in coming.? My personal opinion is, “It seems like that wouldn’t matter people choose to come or don’t regardless on of what type of banquet it is.”

I have another friend that went to a boarding academy and students were required to show up to the gym having no choice not to show up dressed formally. All the guys would get a number and so would the girls. The down side was you had no say in who you were getting or, if you were in a relationship already, you couldn’t go with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Some were against it, but many were for it. You were given an opportunity to get to know someone who you would most likely never talk to.

I asked some fellow Andrews Academy students what they thought and here is what they said :

Olivia Woodard, AA senior, says “Sadie Hawkins is good every other year. It is weird for girls as well but I feel like girls are more creative in asking than guys; The positive side of Sadie Hawkins is guys too, feel the stress and the wondering if someone is going to ask them.”

Despite, being nervous or embarrassed, take a chance to make someone’s day. You don’t necessarily have to be in “love” with the person in order to ask them out. It is fun to get dressed up and take funny pictures with your date. It’s fun going with your friends but once in a while its nice to do something out of the ordinary. Remember this is once in a lifetime experience that we could look back on and laugh. We should never take these experience for granted , for high school only comes once.

Accept yourself as you are

By: Charity Ogoti

We spend money trying to fit in, pour ourselves over the latest celebrity news, and spend hours trying to emulate the beauty that the world will worship. But at the end of the day, trying to chase after these things will only leave us unsatisfied with the hunger for more.

We need to start being happy with where we are and avoid wishing we were in someone else’s place.

Entering high school, I was afraid of what everyone would think of me. As a result, I began to change who I was to try to fit the person I thought would be liked by everyone else. I compared myself to other girls and wished that my life could be as faultless as theirs seemed to be. However, this led me off the well-worn path when I realized that my relationships with my family and friends had begun slipping. Gradually, however, I realized that unless I accepted who I was, I wasn’t going to be satisfied with whatever I thought was perfect.

Many people have lived their lives in frustration and depression because they once denied themselves their true self-identity. In today’s society, many young people bleach their skin because they want to reach a standard of beauty that our generation has put forward. To them, in order to be beautiful, they must be lighter. However, this is a false standard of beauty because all skin tones are beautiful. Black is beautiful. These young people need to realize that they are blessed with melanin and covering it up is the same as denying the uniqueness that the Creator gave them.

If you don’t respect and value yourself, how do you expect others to love you too? Just like Christ loved us first, let us also love ourselves.

The media plays a huge role in making us uncomfortable in our skin tones. The global beauty industry makes over $18 billion dollars each year from the money we use to buy makeup products to hide our insecurities. What other people think and say about us should not hold us back in life. This constant daily exposure to media has distorted our perception of perfection and as a result, our cries for acceptance have created the rivers of identity we are drowning in.

We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. We must know, however, that our true self-identity is who we are when we let go of all of the labels and judgments that we have placed upon ourselves. Ultimately, no matter where we have come from and who we are, we need to love, treasure, and be content with ourselves because God is the potter and we are the clay. We are the works of his hands and he created us all fearfully and wonderfully.

Stop Asian Carp

There are a couple of reasons why our Great Lakes are so great, and one of those reasons is that there are a very good variety of ecosystems. What if there was something that could potentially devastate those ecosystems? Well, Asian carp can do just that. The conditions found in the Great lakes such as water temperature and food support a variety of species. Unfortunately,  asian carp could out number all other native species, as is happening in the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

Why are the Asian carp so dangerous? Asian carp are filter feeders, meaning they eat the plankton that that the lower end of the food chain needs to survive. And if there’s no food for the smaller species, then the bigger fish will suffer. Commercial and sport fisheries bring a annual amount of $7 billion dollars, and if there’s no fish to catch, then their jobs and livelihoods will be destroyed.

Asian carp pose additional threats. Being able to jump as high as 6 feet and weighing from 20-100lbs, asian carp rare a hazard to boaters and colliding with one could result in serious injury or death. Now this could be a problem, because when there is an electric pulse, or just a disturbance in the water, asian carp like to jump out of the water into the air, hitting or landing on anything that’s in its way. In this act of stupidity, Asian carp put our boaters in danger.

Well, you are probably wondering how Asian carp could get into the Great lakes. It all started when we imported them from Asia to help clean the algae and scum from farmers’ ponds along the Mississippi River. When the banks of the Mississippi overflowed, the Asian carp escaped into the river and created a fairly good population. Then they migrated all the way up the Mississippi to the Illinois River and now at the front door to Lake Michigan, the Chicago shipping canals.

Now you might ask what we are doing to prevent this from happening. There are organizations and local fisherman catching and killing Asian carp by the thousands. The DNR has put electric fences along several waterways and closed one. The president has signed into law the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, which includes direction from congress and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to lead an effort to slow and hopefully stop the spread of Asian carp. If we don’t stop Asian carp from taking what we so dearly love, then the Great lakes won’t be so great anymore.

Is Photoshop Hurting Teens

Photoshop has been used for several years, but in this day and age some people are starting to wonder if maybe photoshop is hurting our teens.

People argue that it has a negative outcome on our teens in the way that it hurts their self esteem to the point now that teens don’t view themselves as pretty or handsome in any way. Teens start focusing on their outward appearance more than their character and how they treat others. These teens seem to be in the dark that celebrities and models are often heavily photoshopped to the point that they often don’t look like their unedited self.

The other side of the argument is that photoshop is helping our teens by allowing them to feel beautiful and creative with what they do the photos they photoshop. Also, people say that photoshop helps improve teens’ self-esteem and how they view the world in a more equal way. These teens understand that even the most beautiful and well-known models and celebrities are often photoshopped even before they post a photo on social media.

No matter what the issue is, there will always be to sides for and against. Personally, I don’t agree that photoshop is hurting teens; I feel that there are more important factors affecting how teens view themselves. I feel like their self-esteem can be affected by what they post on social media and how their piers view and react to what they post. But photoshop itself? No, I don’t think it’s hurting teens. It’s just another way for them to express themselves.


Superheroes vs. God

He can fly. He has laser and x-ray vision. He protects. He sacrifices for others. He has super strength. He never ceases to do the right thing. He has a cape. He wears a symbol of hope on his chest. He defeats evil. He is our hero. “Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound … It’s Superman!”

The iconic character of Superman has been around for a long time. In early 1933, high school student Jerry Siegel wrote a short story about a villain who gains psychic powers from an experimental drug called “The Reign of the Superman”. Later on, Siegel decided to make Superman a hero, so he would be more marketable. He published the comic and “The Superman” instantly became popular. Eventually DC Comics bought the rights from Siegel, creating the modern Superman that has completely taken over the media and seemingly everything else.

So what makes this character so vastly popular in today’s society? We believe that his popularity stems from the original sin. People are always striving to be better. They want to be special, to be in control, and to have unlimited power. They want to be like God. This longing is a scary thing because this is exactly what caused Lucifer to fall in the very beginning. He wanted to be like God. He thought that he could do things better. He convinced himself that God was being unfair. He thought that he himself could make a better God.

“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)

And so, being banned from Heaven, Satan cast his eye on God’s most treasured creation: humans. We fell for the same temptation that drove Satan to his doom: that God is a liar who is keeping glory and power from us. We should be our own gods. We should form our own destiny.

It is no wonder why Superman is so alluring. He stems from the desire of the original sin. The Great Controversy is engraven into us, and anything that is even close to it is hypnotizing.

The interesting thing about Superman is that the movies purposely create him to look like Jesus. In the movie Man of Steel, Superman is sent down from Krypton to earth as a baby. Jesus was sent from Heaven to earth as a baby. Superman grew up being bullied and mocked, and yet didn’t retaliate. Jesus was misunderstood, bullied, and purposely ignored, and yet didn’t react. Superman found his purpose in life when he found his father’s conscience in a ship from his world. He was 33 years of age. Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended on Him, marking the beginning of His ministry, His purpose in life. Scholars believe that He was also around the age of 33. Superman was told by his father’s conscience that he was the bridge between the supernatural and mankind. Jesus is our mediator, our bridge from God.
The similarities are endless.

As Christians, we need to be aware of these similarities. Satan uses any means necessary to distract us from what is really important, even if we are enjoying ourselves watching a movie. It doesn’t matter so much if we are happy or sad, just as long as we don’t have our focus on God. If Satan can distract us, then he can capture us.

If we keep fixing our eyes on God, however, Satan’s power disintegrates. And, honestly, if you really think about it, which is better: having fun for a couple of hours, or spending eternity in Heaven?



Social Media: Distracting Ourselves to Death

Now it’s possible that you could look at the title of this article and immediately begin reading it with a defensive mindset because it reminds you of something your parents would forward you on your email. Not to mention that this particular forward would be kind of ironic, because email is just another form of social media, and they’re being pretty hypocritical by sending you an email about not using social media. However, this is me talking. I’m a kid. I’m one of you guys, remember?

Now, think back to the last time you used social media personally. When was it? Was it during a time when you should have been doing something else? For me, most of the memories I have of using something like Facebook are from when I was distracting myself from something else I was supposed to be doing. That may be a personality flaw on my part, but I think that a lot of people would agree that Facebook negatively affects their productivity.

But there are other problems with the social media life. Recent studies have examined the psychological impact of constantly observing the highlights of all your friends lives, and comparing them to your own.The trouble with Facebook is that it almost always represents how people want you to think their lives are, not how they really are on a day to day basis. A recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology has examined the negative impact of comparing other people’s Facebook lives to your own daily one.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Houston, examined the psychological well being of over 200 participants as a function of their tendency to compare themselves with others, and the amount of time that they spent on social media like Facebook. They were able to establish a positive correlation between an increase in social comparisons and frequent Facebook use, and in turn connected these with symptoms of depression.

Also, another factor that affects users of Facebook is the tone of the shared content that they encounter. The company of Facebook itself conducted a study in which they altered more than half a million Facebook feeds and examined the content that people posted as a result of seeing more positive or negative news content in their feeds. The study, published in the New York Times, found that people who were exposed to more positive news stories tended to post more positively, and vice-versa with exposure to negative stories.

What these studies go to show shouldn’t be anything new to you. I would hope that you realize that comparing yourself to others too much isn’t healthy, just as focusing on all the negative news and information in the world will drag you down and affect your mood. What I hope these findings will do for you is make you think about what you do see on Facebook and similar sites, and pause to evaluate if it really is a good use of your time or not.

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