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The topic of this week’s article was inspired by a few recent life changes that I have made.

After reading multiple self-improvement books and articles, I’ve realised that the negative effects social media has on our lives and general attitude is something that pops up quite a lot. Professionals advise us to avoid turning to social media as soon as we wake up, which I admit, I’m guilty of. We never actually consider the effect it has on us until it’s gone. We are a generation that sadly lives our lives through a lens and likes. How often do you post on Instagram because you actually love the photo, rather than your followers telling you through likes and comments?

In today’s generation you could go on holiday, have the best time of your life… but you didn’t until you posted that you went on holiday and waited for everyone to comment on it. This isn’t at all a criticism because it’s the culture we live in and everyone does it, I do it! We feel we haven’t lived things until we receive social medias approval.

Media has multiple positive effects of course but it also has lots of negative ones that we tend to ignore. How many times has social made you feel fat or skinny or compelled you to buy something you don’t actually need or want? How many times has social media made you feel ugly or lonely? When you start answering these questions it all starts adding up.

Last week I made the decision to remove social media of my phone. Yes, I deleted it all! Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter etc. Its fair to say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. This doesn’t mean permanently, hence why it’s a detox. Most people find this shocking and I’ve had many say ‘omg why would you do that, I could never do that’. I chose to do this after reviewing how social media made me feel, I noticed that I would scroll through Instagram or Tiktok and then criticise myself for not looking like the models or influencers I follow. This really started to affect my mental health and how I view myself. I think it’s easy to get caught up in believing everything you see on social media but let me tell you these influencers selected these photos to show you the best of their lives, nobody shows you when they’re having a shit day, when they have a breakout, when their tracksuit doesn’t match and there’s a huge stain down the front. They only show you the best moments of their lives, which we all do.

This was having a huge affect on my life, the days when I struggled to get out of bed or felt ugly because I didn’t look like Kylie Jenner after a 3-hour glam team was all due to social media. Having a detox from these platforms allows you to be present and enjoy moments like watching the sunset or having a coffee without having to show Instagram that you lived these moments, we forget to enjoy these moments for us and watch it through our eyes as a opposed to our lens. This post isn’t preaching or judging but merely suggesting that perhaps having a break from social media might be the breath of fresh air you need!

Caitlin Sweeney

Nottingham '23

A lover of Wilde and Shelley, and a guilty pleasure for 80s music. I believe chocolate and tea can solve 98% of my problems, I am always up for new challenges and learning new things !
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