Every Gen Z understands their triggers with various social media platforms. Different things you see may make you feel angry, sad, isolated, annoyed, happy, excited, frustrated, confused, etc. Maybe seeing political posts make you angry, fitness workout ideas make you feel insecure, sorority posts annoy you, or food pictures and puppy Instagram accounts make you happy! We all have certain things we like and dislike about social media. Some users may feel indifferent about these feelings and don't let them affect their daily lives. Some users may let an Instagram post or a Tweet ruin their day and haunt them all week.
"Simple" solutions I hear a lot are: "Why don't you just delete your account?" "Delete the app off your phone," or "Mute their account." But these solutions aren't that simple. Even if you unfollow someone, mute their story, or block a topic, there will always be a piece of you that will want to know what they're posting. You will occasionally check in on that one person from your dorm building that you couldn't stand, just to torture yourself. Trust me, you may not even realize that you do it. So what's the solution? Go completely off the grid?
I know, it's a bit dramatic, but it's true! Whether you delete the app on your phone, mute a specific account, or even delete your profile altogether, you will have a certain extent of the feeling of FOMO. I have noticed this with friends, family, and from my own personal experience. Even if you delete these apps from your phone you will still be haunted by the thought of what you're missing out on, at least for a little bit.
However, going completely ghost is not the best idea. Instead, all social media users must learn how to properly absorb the things we see online.
Being completely removed from social media is not a strong political statement against the "media" nor the large corporations like Facebook. At this point, not having social media reflects your possible detachment from current events and restricts you from exploring your interests. Despite what your high school may have lectured you about keeping your social media posting to a minimum to make yourself appear more professional come post-college graduation, employers want to see you online.
Imagine yourself an aspiring social media marketing manager but you're tired of seeing fitness accounts online that make you feel insecure about your body. So, you delete your social media and are proud of your decision by flying above the "superficial" status-quo. But then you go on a job interview, what kind of social media manager doesn't have social media accounts? Your employer can't match your interests and resume experience with that on LinkedIn or maybe even your Facebook. In this aspect, you may not be perceived as a strong candidate.
So, what's the answer? Social media sucks in many ways, but you can also use it to your advantage to widen your mind and explore topics that make you happy and educated while maintaining an interesting online profile that can benefit you in a job search. Don't let your triggers ruin the fun of what social media can be!