How a social media break could be beneficial to students

Opinion from me with views from students

Illustration by Madeline Slusher

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, I’ve been getting on social media for three years now. It’s a huge part of my life and my routine. I check it frequently throughout the entire day, it’s my favorite pastime. I get on it often but lately, it’s been bringing me down so I need to take a break.

Social media is a great way to contact friends and connect with people all over the world. It’s a great way for people who have businesses to promote their products and for any type of celebrity to put out what they’re doing. Whether it be a new movie coming out they’re starring in or a musician who has a new album coming out. It’s even a nice outlet many students have so they can take a break from whatever is going on in their life. But sometimes, social media can be distracting and consume a person entirely.

“I get on social media every 20 minutes,” freshman Haylee Croslow said. “I get bored and most of the time there isn’t anything else to do so that’s what I do, plain and simple.”

   Even if it does provide an escape and outlet for some, social media still has its cons. For example, people getting into drama on social media or bullying through the platforms. Also, another con is students consuming themselves in it. Sometimes it gets to the point where they stop paying attention to what’s going on around them in the real world. It can be very distracting.

  I wasn’t exactly “addicted” to social media but I did get on it a lot. Social media distracted me from my family and friends. It took a toll on my mental health, I’d see stuff that gave me anxiety. When someone was spreading gossip or talking about someone on social media, I would always think it was directed towards me even if I didn’t know the person or it wasn’t related to me at all. I would also worry about likes and followers. In the end, I just got tired of worrying all the time and it didn’t bring me much joy anymore, so I took a break and I still am on that break. I  believe more students should start taking breaks as well to benefit them.

  Taking a social media break is logging off and not getting on it at all until that person feels like they’re ready for it. It’s not, “oh I’m just going to check my feed really quick.” That just makes the person want to keep getting on it more and more. It can be difficult because it’s something people have to commit to. Sophomore Josie Meridith shares different ways she occupies herself other than getting on social media.

“I like to bake mainly,” she said. “I also really enjoy spending time with my friends. Those are the two big things I like to do when I’m not scrolling through social media.”

  Parents also can tell when social media is taking a toll on their kids. Croslow shares how her parents made her take a break and how it benefited her.

  “My parents made me take a social media break for two years a while ago,” she said. “At first I was angry at them, but now I understand why they did it and I appreciate it. I made more friends and I didn’t always have a phone in front of my face. Honestly, I might do it again soon since it’s causing more drama than ever before since I’m literally always on it.”

  Freshman MaKenahleigh Jones also took a break on her own and she shares the story behind why she did and exactly how she did it.

  “I have taken a break before, last summer actually,” she said. “Social media was taking over me and I said no, I’m staying off and not getting back on until I’m a better person. I stayed off pretty much all summer and I got back on around September and it has totally been different for me, in a much more positive way.”

  I believe anyone could take a break if they put forth the effort. Today so many people consume themselves in it, so an occasional break would be beneficial. It would give more people the chance to do the hobbies they like and even find new hobbies. Even though I do         believe social media is an extremely fun and helpful resource we have I just think an

occasional break would be good so people can do actual real-world things, like playing a sport or talking to a friend instead of texting them.

   Social media breaks are not as easy as they may seem. I’ve had trouble staying off but I’m getting better every day. I get bored a lot when I’m not doing homework or hanging out with someone, so instead of checking my social media I like to try to find new hobbies I enjoy. I like bullet

journaling and painting now. The social media break hasn’t only benefited my mental health but is helping me develop other interests.

  Meridith shares her views on social media breaks.

“I do believe a break would be good,” she said. “I think it would be a good idea to not consume yourself on it. When you’re always on it you kind of miss what is going on in the real world. Because you’re staring at a screen, scrolling or comparing yourself to others.”

  Freshman MaKenleigh Jones shares her final opinion on how breaks would benefit students.

  “A break would absolutely benefit students,” she said.” Social media is way too involved in

everyone’s life. I feel like they should have more

self-control and should be able to log off at any given time. It would 100% benefit students

because then they can stop and stare at life and their families and not have to worry about the  criticism that comes when posting a selfie.”

I strongly believe a break is an excellent idea, it didn’t only help me but it continues to help so many other people in the world. If you feel at all that social media is bringing you down, log off! Hang out with your friends or just go outside. Go experience real-life because life is short. We shouldn’t spend all the time we have on social media.