Social media has expanded to much more than just a digital means of connecting with peers. Long gone are the days that we can send an instant message, or share photos without the possibility of consequences.
We now live in a society that basks in tweeting, hashtagging and trolling pictures and videos that create an imitation of reality. Aside from the overuse of social media outlets, the growth has resulted in the increase of safety risks.
According to Internet Safety` 101, the social media web has created easy access for predators and cyberbullies, unhealthy group chats and posts, and posting of provocative and inappropriate pictures, while also creating addictive behavior.
Fortunately, not all people are getting sucked into this obsession of being on social media and in fact, have taken a hiatus.
Social media cleansing or fasting is deleting any and all forms of social interaction through the internet for a short or long period of time. It has been utilized to disconnect from the world and reconnect with ourselves.
From my own personal experience, social media fasting has been an amazing journey. Being in my first year of college, it was hard adjusting to this chapter of life. I looked at my classmates and upperclassmen on social media and thought, “wow! They really have it all together.”
With help from my older brother, I was told to shut off my phone every day and take an hour to myself. This then turned into staying off social media for a certain amount of hours each day, then to completely deleting all of my social media and replacing them with podcasts and kindle.
It was extremely hard and of course, I have an abundance of temptation, but each time I re-downloaded Instagram and scrolled down my feed, I was given the same emotions of insecurity, sadness, and lack of personal confidence.
Kaleah Edwards, a third-year psychology student, said that she decided to take on a social media fast to get rid of developing insecurities.
“I realized I was getting too caught up in other peoples’ lives. We feel like we should post all these things so that someone may notice us and if they don’t that adds to our insecurities.”
Social media has the ability to create a constant euphoric and false idea that someone’s life is always filled with joy and perfection while we look at our life as the opposite.
Detailing her experience of taking time off from social media, Kaitlin Terrell, a third-year theatre performance student said, “I was constantly looking at my phone on Snapchat or Instagram to see what people were doing by the hour. “
Sure you’ll want to log back on to look at The Shade Room and see the latest tea or current events from the point of view of your peers, but truth be told, why not have in-person conversations to gossip? The verbal connection is far more meaningful than typing on an iPhone screen.
The best advice that Kaitlin, Kaleah, and I could give to those considering taking a break from social media it would be, to take it slow and progressively detach yourself and gain some sense of willpower. Deleting the apps on your phone and avoiding the notifications will benefit your lifestyle and help you to achieve a more clear and open mind.
Social media is not nearly as important as it seems, and all that time scrolling can be better spent focusing on school or advancing your career!