What I Learned from my Social Media Break

About a month ago, I began to realize that my social media use was insanely high. On average, I was spending around 5-6 hours every day on my phone, most of which was used to browse random YouTube videos and the explore page on Instagram.

The fact that I spent so much time on these two social media platforms (occasionally going on Facebook and Snapchat as well) was scary to me. Furthermore, I noticed that my grades and mood kept on getting worse and worse. So, I decided to take a little break from social media.

A couple weeks ago, I temporarily disabled my Instagram account, and have also limited my time on YouTube to a maximum of an hour a day. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned so far!

1. I’ve become addicted to social media

cell phone

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Initially, I thought that this break was going to be a breeze. However, there were many times in which I caught myself breaking my own rules.

For example, there was one night that I ended up spending around three hours watching random clips of Gordon Ramsay yelling at people. Also, I noticed that I was unconsciously opening up Instagram whenever I had free time, only to see the blank login page.

It was at this point that I realized I was addicted to social media.

2. Decreased social media use equals increased productivity

Although my ability to limit my social media use has not been perfect, I have definitely succeeded to a certain degree. What else have I noticed? Well, one of the main things that stuck out to me was the fact that, for the first time in three years, I genuinely felt prepared for a midterm. I was able to put all the time that I saved into my studies, which ended up being worth it in the end. Furthermore, I was also able to find the time to start working out again!

3. It’s important to focus on yourself

Photo by Neil Soni on Unsplash

As much as I enjoy seeing my favourite celebrities playing with puppies, or Chad’s post regarding his lit Friday night party, I’ve realized that it can be unhealthy to compare every part of my life to those of other people.

It’s as if all these posts and videos emphasize what I don’t have rather than what I do have. Over the past two weeks, I’ve become so much more mindful and present. I finally feel like I can do the things I genuinely want to do, instead of being influenced by so many outside factors. It’s extremely refreshing and liberating!

4. Social media doesn’t have to be a problem

If there’s one thing I’m taking away from this break, it is this. Social media is not necessarily the problem, the problem is ME.

Many of my associated downsides of social media could have been resolved if I had simply changed my perspective. For example, instead of seeing those insanely successful people on Instagram and dwelling about why I’m not as good as them, why not see them as inspirations? As the users, we have full control over why and how we use social media.

Conclusion

Just like most things, I believe that social media has its pros and cons. While it can be addictive and misleading, it can also be motivating and entertaining. Everything depends on how you decide to use it! However, be careful as controlling social media use is often a lot easier said than done.

If you haven’t already, I would highly suggest taking a break from social media as well to see if any significant changes occur in your life!

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