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Wellness > Mental Health

I Took a Month-Long Break from Social Media and Here’s What Happened.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

As embarrassing as it is for me to admit, a few months ago, I found myself spending hours on scrolling through TikTok every day. Between working a full-time nine-to-five job and keeping up with my schoolwork, I’d get home absolutely exhausted, and by the time the weekend came, I was too burnt out to even consider doing anything other than lying in bed staring at my screens. With no energy or motivation, I found solace in the quick and repetitive motion of scrolling and watching 30-second clips that didn’t need too much of my attention. However, as I’m sure you know, the for you page (FYP) has a personalized algorithm, and with every video I watched, the more attuned it became to my unfortunate choice of viewing. My FYP was filled with dauntingly urgent videos telling me that half the world is on fire and the ocean is rising, that I’d never be able to buy a house and soon I wouldn’t be able to afford groceries. Of course, these are urgent issues that need to be addressed, but there is only so much my already anxious self can handle. So, after talking it through with my therapist, I decided to take a break from social media. What was meant to be only a week off TikTok turned into a month-long cleanse off of every social media app I had. Let’s talk about how it went.

There were both benefits and downfalls to this cleanse. The first major difference I found was how I was able to change my boredom to productivity. Typically, when I was bored, my first instinct would’ve been to take out my phone and start doom scrolling until something took my attention away. Even after I had started this break, I’d find myself tapping on my screen where TikTok used to be, only to find the app deleted. After a couple days of complaining about my boredom, I realized I could use the time to get some things done, or at the very least spend it doing hobbies that benefitted my mental health. After finishing the week’s homework, I’d pick up a book and start reading or I’d listen to relaxing music and finish a paint-by-numbers. On top of this huge improvement, I was sleeping significantly better as well. There are numerous studies on how blue light affects sleep patterns, and along with those improvements, my nighttime anxiety had all but disappeared. These changes had greatly helped my mental health, but where there are pros, there are also cons. As much as I was enjoying my new routine, there were some downsides to being media free. Most of the time, I had no idea what was going on in the world. I hadn’t realized I got most of my news from social media sites, so without them I was left somewhat lost. Why was there a submarine at the bottom of the ocean? Why does Miranda Sings have a ukulele? These are all things I caught glimpses of while with friends but had absolutely no context for. I felt like I was being left out of an inside joke. Apart from that, the only other con about this cleanse was the 150+ TikToks I had to catch up on that my friends had sent me.

All in all, this is something I would definitely do again. I highly recommend taking even just one day without the social media apps you typically use every day. In today’s age, it’s hard to be completely free of all types of social media, so don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t able to do this easily. But try to give yourself a chance to catch up with yourself, rather than everything going on around you. If I learned anything from this cleanse, it would be that I cannot control everything around me, but I can least control the things that affect me.

Evelyn Mendoza

Wilfrid Laurier '26

Evelyn is part of the writing team at the Laurier chapter for Her Campus. She is in her second year for an honours degree in English, while also minoring in Women's Studies and Philosophy. After graduating, Evelyn aspires to become a book publisher and editor. She loves to read (romance and fantasy being her favourite genres) and spending time with her six loving reptiles. If she's not at work or school, you'll usually find her curled up in bed watching Criminal Minds or taking a well needed nap.