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Mental Health

Why I Am Deleting All Social Media Apps This Summer

I first joined social media when I was about 11. I begged my mom to let me have a Facebook so I could play games, specifically Farmville, and talk to my friends outside of school. Once she let me make a Facebook, I was instantly addicted. I always wanted to log on to see if I had any new messages and what my friends had posted. It was fun to constantly feel connected to my friends and family even if they were far away. 

Shortly after Facebook took off, Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine took over the social media world, and of course, I joined all of them. I spent most of middle and high school lying in bed and just scrolling. I spent so much of my middle and high school years liking pictures of my friends and celebrities who looked perfect and watching short videos of what seemed to be someone's picture-perfect life. 

To this day, I still spend so much time just scrolling endlessly on Instagram and Tiktok. It is a useless addiction and fulfills absolutely nothing for me. That feeling of being connected to everyone has been gone for years, and social media feels almost smothering. I put off homework and other tasks I need to do by telling myself just a few more minutes, but it is never just a few more minutes. 

Sometimes social media is great, but it has not been for me the past few years. It makes me feel like my life is not as perfect as these strangers who post a day in their life on Tiktok. It makes me feel like I should do more for my health to look like all these beautiful girls with perfect bodies all over my Instagram Explore page. How these posts make me feel is not the creator's fault at all. The blame lies with this crazy idea that everything we post on social media must be perfect. It has taken me a long time to realize that most posts are lies and edited to make us believe it is all perfect when it is the opposite, and this is why I am deleting all my social media apps this summer.

 I have finally realized the effect social media is having on me and my mental health. I need to connect with myself, not strangers on Tiktok or Instagram. I hope to take this opportunity to know myself better while doing things I have put off due to my scrolling addiction. Honestly, I am scared of feeling like I am missing out on something or not staying up to date. On the flip side though, that is what I want. I want to learn that it is not important to know absolutely everything that is going on or staying up to date with the Kardashian's every move. Most importantly, I hope to learn that I do not need to spend time on social media to keep filling this void in myself that I have avoided for too long. I need to take time for myself and do things that make me feel good, so cheers to a disconnect from social media while connecting with myself this summer.

Sheridan Mercer

Virginia Tech '22

A senior studying childhood pre-education with minors in psychology and disability Studies. I enjoy taking care of plants, listening to music, watching funny TikToks, journaling and cuddling with my cat.  
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