Social media detox ditches distractions

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By Roby Tan

Illustration by Kassidy Weber

Looking around this modern world, families have their heads down on their phones, no longer conversing with each other at the dinner table. Everyone is obsessed with their phones and can’t go a day without them, or their day would be turned upside down. While some believe social media unites everyone together, it has become the ticket to potential health risks and the root of nationwide self-esteem issues.

According to the West Virginia Education Association, an average teen spends nine hours in front of a screen each day. Most of that time is spent keeping up with the world on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and the like. These are vital resources in order to stay updated with the latest news and trends. Social media ties users together to stay in touch with distant loved ones, to create an outlet where everyone can co-exist, and to allow anyone the freedom to share their passions and stories with the world. New and growing businesses such as Instagram online shops can grow quicker than ever before and easily make profits. The media is an essential source of entertainment, news, and is a stress reliever that clears the mind after a long, busy day.

Although social media has proved to be beneficial, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only two hours of screen time daily because spending too much time on social media can lead to addiction. Thus, procrastination and unproductivity have become much more prominent in the past years. The impulsive urge to pick up the phone after only a minute has passed since the last check is one of the many signs that indicate it is time for a social media cleanse. Comparing oneself to celebrities and friends degrades self-esteem, for it builds insecurities and affects people by making them feel unmotivated. Instead of being an inspiration, social media has now become a distraction, hindering someone from doing their obligations outside the online community.

When someone neglects to spend time with friends and family, it is likely that their attention span is short-lived as they depend on social media as a temporary escape from reality. Some individuals vent to their closest friend about their struggles and self-esteem issues as they hide behind their username. Others choose to deal with it alone and seek progress within themselves.

A cleanse can aid in breaking free from the constricting chains of social media. A good start is to turn off notifications, for the sound urges the user to pick up the phone. Take baby steps and delete social media apps one by one until there’s no drive left to check notifications every other second. Let friends or family be aware of the cleanse, so there is support and discipline when going through the withdrawal. Distract yourself by going to a café with friends or going to the gym to get back on the grind.

A successful cleanse helps relieve mental and emotional stress. There will be a balance in time management, and the desire to check for unnecessary notifications will vanish. Gaining control of instantaneously phone checking allows more room for growth and better decision-making. People glow differently when happy, so get some air, some sunshine, and the clarity every mind desperately needs.

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Roby Aliyah Tan is a junior and a first-year reporter. She believes in the saying, “Trust the process.” It may be overwhelming during the first year but with a pinch of patience and optimism, she believes this year will end on a great note. She has a passion for traveling, has had her share of seeing some of the world’s wonders and wishes to pursue her dream to travel the world and be more exposed to different cultures.