Sacrificing Social Media can Improve Your Well-Being

Sacrificing Social Media can Improve Your Well-Being

It's time to stop letting critics or online trend-setters change you.
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“What does it truly mean to be alive?”

I ask myself this question often, and always fail to receive a realistic answer. I’m blinded by what’s my true reality. I live in a generation where electronics have enhanced experiences like never before, but also limited them. Sure the quality of our camera’s photos are better, but does a snapshot make up for a full exposure with your own eyes? Am I really living in the now? Am I fully experiencing everything I was supposed to be, and taking advantage of every opportunity? Or was I using the opportunities to get my likes up on Instagram?

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

These were all valuable questions I wanted answers to, so I took a break. I strived to encounter face-to-face interactions, but face-to-face conversations are becoming more and more difficult to experience. Everyone was constantly either on their phones, or showing one another something on some type of technical device. Yet, this doesn’t exclude myself, because I do the same thing, I just tried to make an effort to enjoy the little things more. I felt as if they were being ignored while my face was invested in a screen.

I started this “break” my senior year of highschool, and because of it, have developed several qualities about myself I hadn’t realized before. My interests had changed, and I started to express the raw parts of my inner mind on my social media accounts rather than mimicking what I was viewing everyday on my newsfeeds. Stephanie Meyer once said, “Sometimes I wondered if I was seeing the same things through my eyes that the rest of the world was seeing through theirs. Maybe there was a glitch in my brain…” For me, the “glitch” was how real I saw the world once I pushed aside all of the distractions that were getting in the way of my own true happiness. Whether it was people, activities, or society's requirements, I learned what I could healthily balance, and what I couldn’t.

So what does it truly mean to be alive? Seriously.

Well, my senior year I wrote a poem, reflecting on how I viewed technology, and how it’s overtaking humans. The world is being absorbed into the wrath of technological advancements, and becoming who their social media sites tell them to be. Rather than expressing themselves wholly, they display themselves in ways they want others to see them, or how others expect them to be.

It reads:

BEEP! BEEP!

Starting with a subconscious reach of a hand,

The alarm is shut off,

And the day is started by the glow of a screen in a darkened room.

Before any conversation occurs face-to-face,

It takes place through a virtual message box.

Within minutes, notifications, alerts, badges, and texts become priority.

Obsesses, over used, and owned—

Even the latest model just doesn’t seem to meet the expectations.

So why is it that we allow tiny half-inch applications to escort us through life?

So why is it that we allow the amount of likes, followers, or friends to classify ourselves?

So why is it that we feel the need to document every single individual action we perform on apps like Snapchat and Instagram?

Since everyone else has these apps; it must be great,

We say.

Although some claim that technology is benefiting the future,

How it will strengthen the learning opportunities for students, and supply endless possibilities,

They are wrong.

They do not understand.

With all of the capabilities available now days,

Distractions and persuasions are likely.

These distractions lead to a newly sparked interest in a senseless speck of technology.

Before realization occurs, it has been hours.

Hours have been wasted on the fascinating transfixion on a screen full of LED lights.

With such a diverse device, we feel empowered.

We feel accomplished.

Yet we still base our worth on a number.

Like.

Follow.

Favorite.

Follow request.

Retweet.

Comment.

[Life is up here, but we comment below.

The comments below become our motivation (twenty one pilots)].

Is that what we want?

To be strangled by the electrical cord of advancing technology?

If that’s what we want:

That is where we’re headed.

“Sacrificing the Search Engine” Alexis Knight (2016)

To me, my poem enforced the capabilities of social media and how it affects people’s self-esteem and possibly their entire lives. The impact is unavoidable. Soon after new applications are developed, they become the basis of how humans interact and rank one another. These deadly databases consume their consumers and make them wish they were like their neighbor. Soon everyone aspires to be like someone else, and don’t embrace themselves as they are. The result: duplicates. Hundreds and thousands of duplicates rather than individuality. As a society, we get so absorbed in “the now” and change ourselves for the sake of a social image. Sometimes, the feedback to these images aren’t always encouraging, and are taken to heart. Cyber bullying. Occasionally, the feedback can be more influential than people realize, and you start to see news stories or trends on Twitter about young lives being taken too soon thanks to the harsh criticism on social media. I don’t think many people realize social media has the capability to take lives. However, we can use these advances in technology save them as well.

Problems like these occur more often than we think, and as members of today’s generation and society, I feel that we should wake up and realize the seriousness of these issues before it becomes too late. Take the time to physically spend time with people, take a breath of fresh air, quit worrying about how others view you—as obnoxiously unavoidable as it may seem—and do what makes you happy. Social media is tearing relationships, self-esteem, and people apart. Yet, just as easily as we can hit ‘send’ on a hateful message, we can also hit ‘send’ on an encouraging message.

So, what does it mean to be alive? I think it means to not let the critics or online trend-setters change you. Encourage one another the way that they are; be open-minded. Everyone has a different story to tell, so listen. The world is full of wonderful diversity we should embrace. Live your life to the greatest extent, surround yourself with positive, impactful people, and don’t be swayed by the wind of conformity.

Cover Image Credit: A.R.K. Images

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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12 Ways To Save Money During The Summer When All You Want Is To Spend It

Saving is important year round, but it's most important in the summer

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Over the summer, everyone normally has more free time than during the year, and that means more time to spend more money. Saving money over the summer is important, not only so you can be prepared to pay for things in the future, but also so you can enjoy your summer and no be stressed about how much money you've spent. Saving money is something that should happen year round, but it's especially important to do in the summer.

1. Create a budget

Starting the summer off on the right foot is super important to stay on track throughout the rest of the summer. A budget is something that you should have year round, but it's important to adjust it for your summer plans.

2. And stick to it

Not only do you have to make a budget, but you have to stick to it. If you don't follow your budget, you're wasting time and money, and it's hard to keep on top of finances.

3. Take advantage of student discounts

During the summer, college students find themselves with a lot more free time than in the school year. When you're planning what to do with your extra time, make sure to look if the place offers student discounts or not. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

4. Don't always go out to eat

College students tend to spend time with their friends going out for food or for drinks, and that adds up fast. If you have friends over to cook dinner, it can be healthier and cheaper to do.

5. Sublet

If you have an apartment you're not going to be staying in, or need to stay in Columbus, it's beneficial both ways to sublet. Neither way do you have to pay full price on an apartment, and any discount, no matter how small, saves you money

6. Take day trips

Obviously, no one wants to stay in one place the whole summer, but travel is super expensive. By going on day trips you get to see more of the state or city, but you don't have to pay for lodging overnight. It's a good way to get out without eating into your budget.

7. Walk around

Columbus has great parks and trails that not enough people think about using when they're planning what they want to do. If you walk around outside, you can spend as much time you want there and you don't have to pay anything.

8. Split costs with friend

Do both of you need a Hulu and a Netflix account? Why not share the costs and the passwords with each other, so that you both can save some extra cash in the future. This doesn't just have to be with streaming services, but it can apply to food and parking costs as well.

9. Don't impulsively buy big items

Maybe you've worked a ton recently to start saving for summer, or you have graduation money flowing in. You feel like it doesn't matter how much you spend, but it does. If you hold off on those purchases, and you save your money, you'll be in a better spot financially at the end of the summer.

10. Get a job

The obvious one. If you're doing an unpaid internship or your normal job isn't offering you many hours, then getting a second job where you can work to have a little more money can help you achieve your savings goal.

11. Don't be too hard on yourself

The hardest part of setting goals is when you don't achieve them. Even if you haven't saved exactly as much as you wanted, making even a small change can help your financial wellbeing and can be enough to make small changes in the future.

12. Don't force yourself to make big changes

Everyone's saving tips to Millennials are to stop getting coffee every single day from places like Starbucks. While cutting down on spending in these ways will greatly help you save money, it's not the only thing that will help. There's no reason to make yourself miserable in order to follow the rules of someone else for a small change financially.

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