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Mental Health

The Benefits of a Social Media Cleanse

Finals season is upon us, whether we’d like to admit it or not. As we all struggle through the late nights, copious amounts of caffeine, and the endless hours of staring at your laptop screen hoping this seven-pages-too-long final essay will write itself, it’s always nice to take a short break (even if the last break you took was two sentences ago).

Like most students, I’m usually on my phone during these short breaks. I take my time scrolling through my Instagram feed (plus the explore page), watching my friends’ Snapchat stories, reading my daily news through Twitter Moments, and I’ll even venture into my Facebook timeline to read my friends’ life updates. Point being, I will meticulously go through every social media app that I own to avoid having to go back to whatever I was working on. Easy access into my social media accounts on top of my procrastinator tendencies is a dangerous combination, especially as due dates draw near.

 

Here are four reasons why taking a social media cleanse during finals will benefit you:

  1. Your shit that needs to get done will actually be done. Productivity- 1. Procrastination- 0.

  2. Getting off social media will help get rid of your FOMO. Especially here in Hawaii, you’d probably rather be lying on a beach instead of hunched over at a table in Sinclair library at 4 pm in the afternoon. Staying away from Instagram and Snapchat means you can avoid seeing the select few who do escape campus.

  3. Trust me, your eyes will thank you. So you’ve been working on writing a paper on your laptop for a couple of hours, with a few breaks in between to only look at your phone screen. Staring at a screen for hours on end can lead to eye strain, which can cause headaches and a lot of other problems you don’t need in your life during finals week.

  4. People who use screens around bedtime are more likely to experience insomnia and other sleep problems. A Harvard study found that the blue light your phone or laptop screen emits can disrupt your natural sleeping pattern, as your brain is tricked into thinking it’s still daytime.

 

At first, the idea of completely cutting yourself off from social media anywhere from a few hours to a day seems daunting. However, I firmly believe that everything in life can be enjoyed in moderation, and using tools like social media blockers for a fixed time can help you in the long run. Some apps that I have found that will help you keep your phone usage in check are Block Social Media (iOS), RealizD (iOS), Flipd (iOS, Android), Moment (iOS), and Space (iOS, Android). With that being said, go forth and ace those final papers/projects/exams!

Avery Nueva is currently a candidate for a B.A. Communications degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also pursuing a certificate in Travel Industry Management. Originally from Southern California, Avery has found a second home here at UH Manoa. In addition to being a Correspondent for Her Campus Hawaii, she served as the Vice President of Recruitment and President of the Panhellenic Council. She is a member of the Delta Sigma chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta and the Public Relations Student Society of America. When she is not out getting boba or sushi with friends, Avery loves to explore all that Hawaii has to offer.
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