Social media is not essential

Haley Schmidt

Quitting social media has the ability to better relationships, productivity and overall happiness. Students should strongly consider taking a hiatus from their social world to improve their mental and physical well-being.

Social media is inherently a way to stay connected with the world, yet it can easily go from an innovative form of instant communication, to the exchange of toxic messages about others and ourselves.

Social media began with the idea of sharing news and communication. The first social media platform, Six Degrees, was only for creating profiles and connecting with others. Today, the social phenomenon is no longer used simply for encouragement, accomplishments and celebratory announcements

Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are literally based off a like and comment algorithm. Popular posts receive more attention and people validate themselves from the social reach they manage to achieve. The addictive feeling of being noticed and heard easily manipulates users and promotes an unhealthy mindset.

A prominent drawback with the current use of social media is that it succumbs to the idea that the social persona society gives off is anything near the reality of who they are and that causes people to feel disconnected when they start comparing themselves.

Physician, author and clinical writer in the mental health realm, Kristen Fuller said, “social media is a tiny sliver of reality, the best of the best days and in a way, a falsified image that we want to portray to others.”

Next time Facebook notifies of a friends birthday, pick up the phone and call instead of making a post onto their wall. People too often forget that although they can stay connected online, they also can stay connected in real life.

It is critical for society to be aware of the positive impacts of participating in a social media detox. The world will not end if people take breaks from social media.

While it is obvious that social media is not going anywhere anytime soon, that does not mean it is essential to leading a fulfilled life. Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego University, states social media overload may have more detrimental impacts on teens and adolescents.

In fact, an Oxford academic study examined the link between Facebook use and an individual’s well being and found that the more the social platform is consumed the more prone the individual is to “negative physical health, negative mental health and negative life satisfaction.”

College students, especially, should take a step in the right direction and delete an app or two that they notice or feel they could not live without. The social world will still be there in a week.

Social media changed the world, but society existed before it and it will exist after it.

– Haley Schmidt is an English senior

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