5 Reasons to Take a Social Media Hiatus

Social media is all at once one of the greatest and worst things to happen to this world. There’s no better way to stay connected with others, to share your life with friends, to learn new ideas, or discover more brands than by searching Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, or another of the many platforms out there. However, this can be problematically addictive: many college students have constant access to the Internet, making social media all too accessible. I recently took a six-week hiatus from Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter (I regularly us Facebook for messaging and I run the Her Campus Kenyon Pinterest) and although it was difficult and slightly terrifying at first, it was incredibly refreshing. Below are five reasons everyone should try a social media hiatus, even if it’s just a little one!

 

1. It will help you focus.

This may seem like a given, but I found that giving up social media really helped with my focus. Have you ever been trying to finish a reading for class, but kept getting distracted by the likes you were getting on an Instagram photo or the latest Facebook feud? It happens to the best of us. For a quick fix, try turning off the notifications for various social media platforms on your phone (but be warned, if you don’t delete the app it’s still there to tempt you!).

 

2. It will help you manage your time.

The average American spends nearly two hours each day on social media. That’s two hours of studying, exercising, reading, hanging out with friends, or sleep that you’re not getting. If you give yourself an hour to complete a homework assignment, social media might creep up and distract you, causing the task to take much longer. If you’ don’t even have the social media apps on your phone, you can count on that extra time for other, more productive or fun things.​

3. It will allow you to be more present.

Have you ever been eating lunch with a friend when you realize you’re not listening to what she’s saying because you were too busy watching a video of a dog chasing its tail? If so, you’re not alone. As I’ve mentioned, social media can be super distracting, and that can take away from your time with other people. By taking a break from social media, you can spend time with others without the nag of your favorite celebrity’s Instagram story.

 

4. It will cause you to reevaluate your priorities.

Towards the end of my social media cleanse, I started to realize that I really didn’t care very much about what random people from high school drunkenly put on their Snapchat stories or what Eva Chen’s baby is up to every waking minute (even though he is precious). Taking a social media hiatus will help you sort out your genuine interests and priorities––and it may cause you to change them.​

5. It will make you happier.

Having good focus, solid time management, a strong presence around others, and clear priorities certainly make for a happier college student. Unfortunately, studies have shown that social media usage and unhappiness are directly correlated. This is because frequent social media use tends to lead to obsessions and addictions not just to Instagram, but to looking at certain types of media that may be damaging. For instance, I follow several models on social media, and I sometimes find myself in a runway-photo hole wondering why I can’t have Kendall Jenner’s legs and feeling bad about myself. Taking a break from social media eliminates certain things that can dampen your self-esteem, making you happier overall.  

 

Of course, social media has several great uses and can be lots of fun to use: enjoy with caution, and remember that taking a step back never hurt anybody.

 

Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2