The first year of college is one big learning experience. More than anything, college is a time of learning to better manage your time. About halfway through the second semester of my first year, I realized that the time I was spending mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram was really adding up and affecting my studies. Social media has very few benefits, we spend all of our time comparing ourselves to others, feeling left out of social events, overanalyzing passive aggressive captions, and looking for a very shallow form of approval from our peers.
When I first logged out of my social media accounts, I left the applications on my phone and told myself that I would only log on during the weekends or after all of my work was done. As you can probably guess, this didn't work too well. I was constantly making excuses to log in and before you know it I was right back where I started, spending hours a day glued to my phone.
One thing I noticed in particular, was that every time found myself alone, either during a meal or sitting outside, I immediately turned to my social media accounts for entertainment. I was spending the few moments I had in a day to look around and enjoy solitude scrolling through my social media feeds.
The mental states of the younger generations in our nations are progressively deteriorating. The suicide rates, especially among middle and high school girls, have skyrocketed. According to the CDC, suicide rates among middle school students are at a 40 year high and it is believed that those numbers are largely attributed to social media. No matter your age, it is extremely hard to see a post of an ex with their new boyfriend or girlfriend or a photo of 3 friends all hanging out without you. Social media leads to hurt feelings, there's no way around it. Within the first week of deleting my social media apps, I noticed an overall increase in happiness not to mention a better relationship with my friends.
The reason we post pictures is pretty obvious, we want likes. We want our peers to look at a picture of us and compliment the way we look or the things we're doing. While it can be nice to receive positive feedback and comments, this need for shallow approval is destroying our self-worth.
I completely understand not wanting to delete your social media entirely. I know personally that after years of posting, I wasn't giving it up entirely. Instead of deleting your accounts, maybe try just deleting your apps. If you want a social media refresher, you can always log on to your account on your laptop, get your social media fix, and log back out. Keeping your accounts off of your phone screen helps you stay focused and keep a barrier between work, play, and distraction.
Originally, I planned to only delete my social media apps for a month or two. If and when I wanted to post something, I would log in, post whatever it was I wanted to post, and then log back out. In the first few weeks, I found myself focusing more, getting more sleep, feeling better about myself, being more productive throughout the day, and enjoying the moments I had to myself. Social media seems to be doing more harm than good in my life, maybe it is in yours too.