Try This: A Social Media Cleanse

9:25 PM


Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and I think it has a lot of positives, but it also tends to control my life. When I’m bored, I’ll refresh Instagram or Facebook maybe twenty times a day. I wait for that special someone to look at my Snapchat story, like my photo, or favorite my Tweet. I can barely sit through a movie without checking my phone or have dinner without feeling the urge to check my notifications. Let’s face it: social media is running and ruining my life, which is why I’m trying to do a social media cleanse.

I love posting on Instagram – it’s my guilty pleasure, but all this social media gives me more anxiety than ever before. I’m already an anxious person, and social media makes it worse. I’ll over-analyze anything and everything. “Oh my gosh, why wasn’t he viewed my Snapchat I sent two hours ago? Why hasn’t he looked at my Snapchat story? Why didn’t he like my latest Instagram?” These are common thoughts that go through my mind. And when someone I’m interested in does like my photo or view both my Instagram and Snapchat stories, I over-analyze the situation again. “OMG does this mean he likes me? Why is he always the first one to look at my story?!” All this social media, while connecting us, also makes us second-guess everything. What does viewing someone’s story even mean? Does it really matter if he didn’t like your latest Instagram? Will your life move on? Yes. You will survive.

Being abroad, social media has been my best friend to stay in touch with people. My Facebook abroad album shows people how great my life is (not pictured: the countless times I’ve cried myself to sleep in my double bed), my Instagram tells a story of adventure, and I think I’m funnier than I really am on Snapchat. With a new number, Snapchat texting allows me to stay in touch with my American friends and Facebook messenger is easier than texting. But it still gives me anxiety.

Social media is great, but I think we can all use a cleanse. Social media, while bringing us together, can also tear us down. Social media use can increase feelings of loneliness and depression. It can lower your self esteem when you’re looking at over-edited pictures of girls in bikinis on the beach, give you FOMO (fear of missing out), and leads to neurotic behaviors such as cyber-stalking. I’m guilty of all of these, and as hard as it is to admit it to myself, I need a social media cleanse.

Be mindful in life and take everything with a grain of salt. Maybe he didn’t like your photo because he wasn’t on Facebook or didn’t see it. Maybe he’s busy. Maybe you should focus on yourself. I think we all tend to over-analyze things and taking a break from social media can benefit your mental health. My goal for the next month is to try to use less social media (except Instagram – my one true self) and focus on self love and growth in 2017.



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