Social media challenges periodically take over our feeds, some leaving us feeling empowered and determined and some leaving us annoyed. Whether it is an ALS ice bucket contest or obtaining Kylie Jenner’s pout via suctioning glass, social media challenges are usually viral but short lived. The newest challenge is causing quite the media stir and instead of leaving followers feeling simply determined or annoyed, it is causing legitimate concern.

The latest trend, #A4waist, involves females (and some males) demonstrating how thin their waists are by covering it up with an A4 sheet paper. If concern didn’t jump out at you immediately, maybe knowing the width of this standard sized paper will.

Growing up on the east coast meant many things: Summer thunderstorms, fall leaves that just won’t quit, and the requisite 5th grade trip to Williamsburg, VA.

You’d clutch your brown paper lunch as you walked past wig makers and silversmiths to the town square where the tour guide in a three cornered, felted hat would stop quite suddenly. There before him were two tall wooden contraptions with holes for arms and a neck.

The stocks.

There is no doubt that social media has made our lives better in a myriad of ways. Thanks to FaceTime, we feel like we’re spending time in person with loved ones who live across the country. We share fun updates on Facebook and Instagram, allowing those in our networks to feel connected to what’s going on in our lives. Social media has advanced the missions of humanitarian causes and small businesses alike, and it has been revolutionary in bringing about change in the United States as well as in countries throughout the world.

Though on the contrary, social media has also become a source of stress, anxiety, and frustration. Increasingly, we’re witnessing society’s social commentary on the subject, watching as TV shows, authors, reality stars, and magazines alike share their irritation with social media and the manner in which it inflames tensions amongst loved ones, creates distractions from work, and generally encourages an environment of disconnectedness (or, at best, of forced connectedness).

Since society itself recognizes that we have a problem with using social media in an entirely positive way, what are we to do? Should we continue our fascination with social media as a form of entertainment, or should we take note of the warning signs and try to root out the potentially harmful implications of our online usage?

Here are some questions to consider as we ponder this issue.

In the age of technology, everything is at our fingertips. We can have groceries delivered to our house, prescriptions refilled instantly, bills paid on time, and gifts sent to loved ones all with the touch of a button, without ever having to leave our home or our device. Similarly, we can make friends and start romantic relationships through our screens, which is inevitably changing the way that we connect with people, for better or for worse.

In elementary school, we made friends with our peers in our classes. We bonded by playing together at recess, working on group assignments, and trading items from our lunches — all of which we did in person, face-to-face.

In the modern, digital age, things have changed substantially. We communicate our emotions and interests through carefully curated words (and emojis, of course!), and while these initial conversations can bring about and sustain long-term, meaningful relationships, these patterns also beg the question: Are we just as quick to make friends now as we were in the days before social media?