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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

I recently logged out of all of my social media platforms for three reasons:

  1. Impulsivity – I was stressed with midterms around the corner!
  2. Logic – I had no idea what to post on any of my accounts.
  3. Emotions– I was feeling unproductive with a high screen time!

It’s no question whether or not social media tricks us into feeling more connected to our world. But, what I’ve realized after no longer using social media this past month is that you can still stay connected without social media! Of course it’s always ideal to have a phone with your friends and family members’ contact info on it (for safety), but I’ve got three ways that anyone can try to stay connected in their world separately from social media and their phone!

#1: get outside

The best way to stay connected with the world around you is to be in the world around you. The problem that many social media users (including myself) face is basing their reality on what they see online. Rarely does what we see online actually appear in person exactly how it’s being portrayed on a screen. Photoshop, Facetune, and potential restricting diets aside, basing your reality on the people you see online isn’t always ideal and it makes the relationship you have with yourself and the real world around you unhealthy. So, I’d recommend taking a break from social media to give yourself a break from social comparison and setting high and, for the most part, unattainable expectations for yourself! Doing so will give you time to get some fresh air and clear your head so you’re ready to tackle the rest of your day and maybe those assignments that you’ve been putting to the last possible minute!

Plus, who doesn’t love some vitamin D?

#2: reset how you think

Social media should be used consciously. The user should know that they can’t have control over their lives by letting something else control them. Moreover, if much of your days are consumed with the content that other people created and own, maybe it’s time to take a little break to live your life to the fullest without the comparison and subconscious tapping and scrolling. This break could help you reactivate the way you view and live your life; let’s not exclude so much of the real world.

I found that when I took a break from social media, it was therapeutic in that rarely using my phone made me more in tune with the reality I had, the reality I wanted, and the reality I now want.

Do you wish to first see your reality through the view of others or your own?

#3: work on yourself

There are so many things that I want to work on for myself. So now has become the perfect time to begin working on those things because without the hours of scrolling, double-tapping, comparing, and commenting, I actually have time to spend taking care of myself and making sure every day is as productive as the day before (if not even more productive)! It takes a lot of hard work and just because social media isn’t in the picture doesn’t make the climb any easier.

At the end of the day, I know that my future self would appreciate my hours of dedication to my work more than my hours of being nonproductive–wouldn’t the future you say the same?

The end.

By dropping social media for even a couple of days, you might just feel more connected to the world around you. From my experience, I found myself working on three areas of my life that allowed me to be more connected to the world around me than I ever was, especially since starting to use social media at 14!

  • I prioritized being outside more instead of scrolling,
  • I worked on resetting how negatively I was thinking and feeling, and
  • I finally took the goals I had set for myself seriously and started working on them for me!

Give social media detox a try and see what happens for you.

Emily Crandall

U Ottawa '24

4th-year Communications and Sociology student at the University of Ottawa.