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Mental Health

Why I’m Ditching Social Media… In Three Weeks

(Anti-climactic title, I know. But my friends will tell you I’m somewhat close to being a professional procrastinator, so it’s to be expected.)

It’s no secret that there’s an underlying truth to any joke people make about being “addicted” to their phones. Think about it: when was the last time you made it through an entire lecture without checking Facebook, texting your friend (who may or may not have been sitting right next to you), or posting on Snapchat about how boring lecture is? If your answer is “today”, then congratulations! You officially have more willpower than I or the larger student population at UC Davis have/has.

Last year, during spring break, my dad and I flew out to Utah to hike some trails at Zion National Park. It was freezing cold, but I was looking forward to the father-daughter bonding time and the chance to see some amazing scenery. Unfortunately, my phone decided to take a nosedive out of my pocket (where I had mistakenly stuck it) and off of Angel’s Landing the first day we went out to hike. I was mostly upset because I knew getting another phone would be expensive, but I was also sad about not being able to keep in touch with my friends while I was away.

This attitude quickly changed, as I discovered that bonding with your father and enjoying Utah wilderness is 1000x times easier and more enjoyable without a tiny glowing box in your hand reminding you that your friends are getting tan in Mexico. I went phoneless for about three days and was almost reluctant to come home to its replacement. But then, of course, school and life happened, and I was right back to posting pictures with my sorority sisters and watching people’s lives unfolding on social media.

I use Facebook primarily to communicate with the rest of my sorority and get updates about chapter events. But there are some people and publications in this world who post just a tad too much about politics, global warming, and world crises, which turns me into a frustrated and upset human. I like watching people’s Snapchat and Instagram stories at the end of the day because it’s like a little movie that a bunch of people I know from different places all made together. But then the FOMO kicks in, and it kicks in hard. I start to worry that I’m not being social enough and spend too much time in the library and not enough time keeping in touch with people.  

So this spring break, I will not be letting another phone slide off of a cliff, but I will be removing Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram from my phone, if not for my battery life’s sake, then for my own sanity’s sake.

Helena is currently a second year studying English at UC Davis and plans to minor in Professional Writing and Technology Management. When she's not furiously writing notes in class, you can find her answering phone calls in the Dean's office at the UC Davis School of Law. She enjoys reading, listening to music, writing, eating (lots of) food, and spending time with family, friends, and her Tri Delta sisters.
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