Social media is bad for all of us. I won’t completely discount the positives, but I personally think it does more harm than good. It is especially detrimental for our age group — we’ve had apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter since middle school. Right as we entered the awkwardest time period of our lives, we were introduced to social media. What a killer combination.
Growing from a pre-teen to a teenager to a young adult with social media by my side has posed some difficulties. I’ve dealt with the issues most people face: comparison, FOMO (fear of missing out), or even just stressing a little too hard about which filter to choose. In high school, I kept track of my Snapchat “streaks” and would get offended if someone broke a streak. I would methodically plan which time of day to post on Instagram in order to get the most number of likes. As ridiculous and pointless as these things sound, every girl I knew did them.
Not only did social media kill my confidence, but it also affected my time management and productivity. I would spend what felt like 10 minutes on a certain app, just to look up and realize it had been 45. I would think to myself; “what was I even doing for that long?!” The procrastination I already dealt with was only heightened because of this. The worst part was realizing the time I just wasted could’ve been spent doing something actually productive.
Toward the end of winter break — about a month ago — I decided to delete TikTok. Shortly after, I deleted Instagram too. I have genuinely never felt better. This is the clearest my mind has felt in literal years. I’m more focused, productive, and calm. I strictly focus on what’s in front of me instead of being distracted. I’ve been accomplishing new things and planning out my days, and better yet, sticking to these plans. I feel like I have more time in a day because none of it is being wasted scrolling through these apps. I’ve also been sleeping so much better because I don’t scroll through TikTok right before bed. Better yet, I don’t have a million different TikTok audios stuck in my head throughout the day.
I stopped comparing myself to others. Instead of being jealous of someone who’s posting on Instagram of them abroad in Italy, I’m able to focus on my own life. A lot of the time, we see other people doing things and we start to believe we should be doing the same things. In reality, focusing on what’s best for you is the key to happiness. I’m not sitting around wishing I was abroad because of other people’s posts. I’m making the most of my semester and doing the things that I want, only for myself. I go to the gym when I feel like it and do the workouts I like instead of following fitness influencers who may be toxic. I stopped trying to look a certain way because I saw a girl on my FYP who was skinnier or prettier than me. I don’t get sad about being single after seeing a random couple’s video together.
If you’re reading this, I would highly recommend deleting these apps and any others. My mental health has never been better and I feel like a new person (as cheesy as that sounds). The effects social media has on us are almost all subconscious which is why it may seem dramatic to delete them. Once they’re gone, though, the difference feels astounding.