The world we live in relies increasingly on technology. We are hardwired to our devices and spend large portions of our days on them. Every time I look around campus, people are walking around glued to their phones. (I’m guilty, too.) Even the bikers and skateboarders somehow manage to make their way around seamlessly while staring at their phones. We eat, sleep, use the bathroom, and tend to academics with our phones in hand.
Social media plays a large role in this addiction. We go back and forth amongst apps, from Twitter to Facebook to Snapchat to Instagram to LinkedIn to websites like my.usc.edu. Even if we wanted to disconnect, it seems impossible to.
Don’t we need to constantly be in the loop and connected to the latest news? Well, no.
Maybe we do need to check the essentials like emails and job portals every day or every other day, but a social media detox is totally possible.
My challenge to you is to take a break from social media for 3 days. 3 whole days. Why should you, you ask.
Taking breaks is good for the soul. Keeping up with social media is exhausting and there’s that constant measure of comparison. Taking a break opens your eyes to the bigger picture while also helping you focus more on yourself without outside influences and sources of worry.
And to the college student’s delight, decreasing your time on social media can help you get a better night’s sleep! No more blue light shining on you until you conk out.
You’ll be able to engage in your creativity more and reconnect with your focus and attention span. Being present in the moment will become easier since you’ll be more readily available and less distracted by lingering thoughts of how your latest Instagram post is faring.
In a best-case scenario, by breaking away from the social media, you’ll take more time for yourself and discover something new you’re passionate about.
As far as decreasing my own time on social media, every now and then I’ll get sick of checking my phone repeatedly and will just shut it off for several hours. This helps clear my mind and allows me to focus on other things that are more relevant at the moment, like homework.
Even turning off my phone doesn’t always help, though, because I can just flip open my laptop and go to twitter.com. One solution to this is to utilize site blockers that prevent you from going on a website for a specified amount of time or until you decide to unblock the site. But no method is foolproof, sadly for us.
Ultimately, the key to pulling off a social hiatus is willpower. You have to be sick of using your phone/laptop/device. You have to want a break. You have to want change.
Once you realize this need for change, you’ll be able to start the ball rolling.
Sometimes you just need to get away from the digital world, you know? I hope you come to realize this, the importance of your mental and physical health, and how social media can be very detrimental to you sometimes.
Social media is a great resource but it can do more harm than good. Take care of yourself and take a break when you need to.
Remember, willpower. Happy hiatus-ing!