Charlotte Fong, 15, International Christian School
Although you might think Hong Kong students are constantly scrolling through their Instagram and Facebook feeds, their use of social media is by no means excessive. At least, not without good reason.
Young people in the city have seven hours of school, and then they take part in a bunch of activities after classes are over. With some having only a few minutes to jump from learning centre to learning centre, they obviously do not have the luxury to browse through social media. The time that they spend on these apps is limited to their commute.
School clubs and sports teams often use social media as a method of communication. To keep up with what is happening in the clubs and teams, students have to stay active on social media if they want to be seen fulfilling their responsibilities. Some teachers even use WhatsApp to pass information about schoolwork to their students. That is why it’s important to stay connected.
Young people in Hong Kong know how to manage their time and how to balance their priorities. They are capable of maintaining good grades even if they spend more time than they should online. Hong Kong still ranks high on international academic assessments, such as Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment). In fact, I would argue that good students know how to use social media to further their education. Many news outlets have social media accounts, which students can follow and get up-to-date information from.
We should not see their use of social media as excessive. Not when using it benefits them, and Hong Kong in the long run.
Snehaa Senthamilselva Easwari, 18, Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong
Yes, I think Hong Kong kids spend too much time on social media. In today’s technologically driven world, the use of social media seems inevitable. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have been collectively named as the most accessed platforms in Hong Kong, with Facebook taking the lead. These platforms are not only used as a way of connecting with people but also as a method of gaining knowledge and information.
Hong Kong people love technology. It’s hard to live here and not be a social media obsessive. A “like” culture exists, where people post photos or captions and their friends, family, or friends of friends give them a “like”. Then, they are expected to do the same for them in turn. That makes people spend much more time on it than they should.
I also think that the excessive use of social media is because it can be used for so much more than just to exchange messages. Some students start e-commerce businesses on it, selling shoes, clothes, and used textbooks. It’s not about communicating anymore.
Edited by Ginny Wong