Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

I Went On A Social Media Cleanse and I’m Happier Because Of It

Like most 21st century millennials, I love social media. Correction: I’m obsessed with it. Every morning I get on Facebook and Instagram to scroll through the feed to see what my friends are doing, what my favorite bloggers are up to and to laugh at the latest memes. Social media makes me feel like I’m more connected to my local community and the global community. It allows me to stay up to date with fashion trends, celebrity gossip, news, and more. I lived for it, I breathed for it, I became a slave to it and that’s why I had to stop…for a while at least.

While social media makes me feel more connected, it also has a way of making me feel extremely unhappy with myself. Social media allows you to be intimately involved in other people’s lives. We share status updates, photos, stories and more all on social media. Social media is the first place where I find out who just got engaged, who landed a fantastic internship, who went on an exotic vacation and who found out they’re having a baby. Of course, I’m happy for these people who share these incredible life updates but I can’t help but compare myself to them. Scrolling through the feed I thought about how I will never land an job as cool as a Disney job, or how extremely single I am or how I have less friends than so-and-so or how I’ll never be the girl who gets 1,000 likes on a picture.

It was toxic thinking. And with school back in full swing, I knew I didn’t need any unnecessary stress weighing me down. So I cut it off. I deleted my Facebook and Instagram apps off my phone and I installed an app on my computer that would turn my screen black if I logged on to Facebook. I’m not going to lie, it was difficult at first. I found myself absentmindedly searching for my social media apps or accidently navigating to Facebook’s website when I was on my computer. I felt some symptoms of withdrawal in the first few days. It wasn’t very intense, I just had this nagging feeling that I was missing something. What if someone had DMed me? Did blah blah post that picture from last night? Did someone tag me in a meme? What are people saying about Taylor Swift’s new song? I felt out of the loop. But this feeling solidified my need for a cleanse.

Halfway through, I felt better. I realized I had gone an entire day without even thinking about social media. I became a lot more involved with my Pinterest (which I don’t count as social media because it doesn’t involve a lot of social activity), and the world in general. Suddenly, I didn’t feel the need to check what other people were doing. I realized I could just ask if I really wanted to know what people were up to. I messaged a friend who I hadn’t talked to in forever, just to say hi. I got a lot of homework done with minimal distractions. I felt really good all week because I wasn’t comparing myself to anyone else. I wasn’t feeling upset about parties I had missed, or hangouts I wasn’t a part of or looking at old pictures of me and my ex.

I was free to be me and be involved in my own world, as small as that may feel. Cleansing helped me put things into perspective. Logging back on a week later felt strange. I loved being in the loop of everything again but that same feeling started creeping back, the comparisons started happening again. It’s just so easy. Now, I recognize that I was consumed by social media, and I know that moving forward, I don’t have to cut it out of my life forever. Social media is a drug for me, it’s an addiction. It’s a wonderful drug that does a lot of good and moves many things in the world forward, but it’s a medicine best taken in small doses.

Danielle Wilkinson is an Atlanta native and currently a senior at Purdue University studying Mass Communication. She is the co-correspondent and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Purdue. She has written for several online and print publications in the past including The Purdue Exponent, The Tab, Society 19, Study Breaks Magazine and Voy Study Abroad. She loves traveling, shopping and everything entertainment, especially movies and TV, but 90s rom coms will always be her favorite. She hopes to move to California one day to pursue a career in marketing. In her free time, she loves YouTube, watching movies with her friends, working on her novel, drinking tea and reading books.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️