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Opinion: Break up with your social media

You and social media are seriously better off friends


"Dump them, sis." Illustration published on April 23, 2019.

The most liberating thing I have ever done was delete my social media accounts. I haven’t had a Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat in over two years because of the major role they played in my life. 

I became subject to the yearn for validation of humans I was either close with, acquainted with or — the scariest part — people I didn't even know. The problem with social media is not only the constant itch to check what your friends are doing, but the comparisons made to nearly everyone around you. 

Although I was enamored of my friends experiencing major life events, I found that the pace at which I was completing mine felt somewhat behind the curve. This false sense of reality that is portrayed through the fictitious lens these platforms enable begins to feel like a constant competition that I knew I did not want to win. 

Deciding to rip off the band-aid and delete social media can offer students the confidence they may have lost while scrolling, let them appreciate the moment more and create memories without feeling the need to document them. 

I still have a Facebook, but I rarely use it other than to communicate with family abroad. 

Jiaying Brust, a sophomore majoring in digital culture graphic information technology, said social media can be deceiving.

“On Snapchat, I will see girls always partying, and it makes me think that to be cool, to be with all of your friends, you have to party," Brust said. "But when I get there in real life, and I am really there in real life partying with these people, they aren’t talking to each other. They don’t really know each other, they’re just doing it to say they did it.”

Every action has a reaction — we've all heard the saying. 

The subliminal need for approval through social media leads to a cyclical competition that can simply never be won. According to the Huffington Post, “Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills.” 

Higher social media usage only solidifies one’s place in the race for the most established accounts, but is “winning” truly worth it? 

The questions students should be asking are 'What is the solution?' and 'How can we escape this without completely falling off the face of the universe?'

Although, surprisingly, it is kind of nice out here. 

According to a study conducted by Forbes about the relationship between social media and mental health, people who limited their social media consumption to 30 minutes per day over a three-week period "felt significantly better after the three-week period, reporting reduced depression and loneliness, especially those who came into the study with higher levels of depression.”

Moral of the story — tell those accounts "It's really not you, it's me," and take some time to regenerate your mental health.

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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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