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Why I Took A Break From Social Media–and You Should Too

March 7, 2018

Almost all students are going through the motions trying to juggle more than 15 units of college, a nearly full-time job and a personal and social life. I can tell you right now that the word stress is an understatement.

In a world where your life is seen and judged through the glass social media, this type of stress remains constant. Although social media platforms have successfully contributed to many people’s lives in terms of communicating and business, there are certain aspects of an app that can drive some crazy.

Google defines stress as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” I define stress as “the want to completely drop everything you’re doing because it seems like you simply cannot keep up.”

Being a college student already requires extreme dedication to your school work and 11:59 p.m. deadlines, research and midterms can really take a toll on a students life and it gives a lot of room for stress to take place.

To relieve some of those feelings, most students turn to their favorite social media outlet to tune in to everyone else’s lives and make their own feel less stressful. Over time, I found that even opening a Snapchat, scrolling down my Instagram feed and keeping up on Twitter started to stress me out.

So I deleted them.

The original purpose of social media is to allow people to communicate with other people.

Nowadays, it feels like the platform for lifestyle comparison. The people you follow to check up on, you’re now checking up on to follow. Every time an app is opened, you’re bound to see one of three things: drama, nakedness, or constant flaunting of things people use to boost their self-esteem, like money and other material items. It seems like an obligation to be attractive, busy, paid and social. If you don’t hold one of those traits and post to prove it, you almost don’t exist to the world.

Nothing seems genuine on social media. The sense of simple leisure has faded, as if getting enrolled into prerequisites and fighting the syllabus throughout the semester isn’t enough competition.

Cassieopia Smith, a child development major at Fresno City College, describes social media as a drug for youth.

“In one form, it makes people feel great; in another, it could totally mess up your life.”

A lot is misinterpreted on social media, and that is one of the main reasons I deleted my own for a while.  

Platforms like Twitter are where misinterpretation and assumptions are housed. Any comment you make on something automatically puts you on one side of the fence in the eyes of your social peers and, like a W on a college transcript, it’s there forever.

For some, it may not be keeping up with outside, but keeping the outside out that causes stress.

According to an article in the Huffington post published on July 12, 2013, “Social network users who are “very concerned” about consumer privacy are 20 percent more likely to characterize their lives as “very stressful.”’ Finding out what someone is up to is no longer a task — just check their story on Snapchat.

Social media could also be responsible for problems rising in a new or old relationship. The “single” status you never changed on Facebook can put someone into tears after a date that went quite well. The “are-we-or-aren’t-we” stage has been put in the public eye. Whether Facebook knows you’re dating or not can possibly end something that didn’t get a chance to start.

It makes sense that in today’s world where social media is the driving influential force of people’s lives, that stress could occur and anxiety can rise.

Luckily, the social media motions aren’t mandatory. Delete them and try to take a break. You may find yourself flipping through your home screen for them but the personal experience of reality is worth it.

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