What I Learned from a Social Media Break

Lanie Malone, Staff Reporter

Over the past year, I moved schools and my life consisted of meeting new people and getting acquainted with them. Of course, I still had my old friends to talk to, particularly over social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. While these apps helped me to stay in touch, I noticed they also reminded me of what I was missing. I decided for this story to experiment with deleting one form of social media I used often, observing the quality of my life without it.

I decided to get rid of the app I use the most (Instagram), noticing that I felt fewer occasions of jealousy from seeing what my friends were doing without me around. I understand that life goes on even after I leave, but it doesn’t mean they don’t miss me. This app made me feel like I wasn’t being fulfilled every day when I really was.

While I missed having something to get on in class whenever I was bored, I decided to check out a book in the library instead. When I didn’t feel like reading, I looked around the classroom and found a person I wanted to speak to. This made me feel more accomplished than if I had sat on my phone anti-socially. I felt like I got to know people better than I had before.  My escape out of a slightly awkward situation used to be pulling out my phone and acting like something important was happening, but now I was forced to speak to random people and to carry on small talk like an adult.

One may notice more of their surroundings when taking a social media break. I participated in people watching without anyone catching on, everyone else staying glued to their cell phones. It may just be me, but I am prone to compare myself to other people, no matter who they are. On social media, we see the best sides of people. We are blinded by their good features (which aren’t even realistic goals because anyone can edit themselves to fit impossible beauty standards) and this makes us think about what we are lacking.

It’s hard to remember that everyone’s body is completely different. Just because someone has something you don’t, remember there is no set way that we are supposed to appear.

Challenge yourself to stay off of social media for a day and see how you feel. You may end up liking it so much that you decide to stay off of it longer. Understand, that beauty standards are a way to sell things to people.