Sometimes a Social Media Break Can Be a Good Thing

We live in a world controlled by social media and the internet. Everyone is always trying to get the best photograph that will match their feed or thinking of a clever caption for a picture that doesn't even exist yet. We live our lives online and are constantly trying to make sure that our image is perfect. We are trying to out compete our friends and other people for the most perfect and aesthetically pleasing life. However, while some people thrive off of coming up with the perfect feed, others fall prey to the toxic side of social media. It can make them feel like failures or worthless all because their feed looks nothing like the feed of an Instagram model.

Over the past couple of months, I started to realize that when I would scroll through Instagram or Facebook, I wasn’t feeling like myself. I would feel like I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t living my life correctly because I wasn’t doing what my friends were posting about. I would get sucked into Facebook video vortexes for at least an hour every day. And the worst part of that was I would watch videos I had already seen before simply because it was the next video in the automatic playlist. So I decided that something needed to change. I needed to break my bad habit of scrolling for hours on social media. So I did the only logical thing I could think of: I deleted Instagram and Facebook off my phone.

Now I’m sure right now you’re probably thinking that there are more social media apps than just Instagram and Facebook. However those were the two that I chronically went on and mindlessly scrolled through. I hardly ever used Twitter and I wouldn’t go on Pinterest just because I was bored. As for Snapchat, I usually would only go on there if I received a message from someone else. I’m the kind of person who never posts on any form of social media. I just have them to keep up with what my friends and family is doing, and to get a look into the lives of celebrities and YouTubers.

On the first day of March, I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone. It was hard at first to come to terms that I no longer had something to mindlessly scroll through when I woke up, or before class, or before going to bed. However, I began to get used to it.

Now I’m not going to lie. I definitely started to go on Twitter and Snapchat more since I didn’t have Facebook and Instagram. Every morning I now watch the NBS New Stayed Tuned story on Snapchat so I can try to stay a little bit up to date with what is going on. I also check my Twitter feed periodically throughout the day. However, I’m not mindlessly scrolling when I go on Twitter. I follow quite a few Congress people, along with friends, influencers, and celebrities. Because of this, I am able to stay up to date on what is happening politically and socially. At this point you must be thinking that I just substituted one social media for another. However by being on Twitter more, I’m learning more about what is happening in the world around me. It’s not just pretty pictures and ads for detox teas and gummy vitamins. I’m learning more about real issues and people’s views on them, whether I agree with them or not. I don’t mindlessly scroll due to the fact that once you get to a certain point, there is an option to see more tweets. Once I hit that point in my feed, I exit out of the app and go about my day.

After not using Instagram and Facebook for a month, I feel not only more like myself, but that I don’t necessarily need to use these two apps on a daily basis. There is more to my life than going online and seeing the highlights of other people’s daily lives. I did miss certain aspects of them, like seeing what my friend who is studying in New Zealand is doing over there, but I don’t feel like I need to go on them in order to make it through my day. I think that going on these apps about once a day and following less people will be beneficial for me and a healthier way of going about social media.

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