OPINION: Take some time to make connections away from the screen


File photo illustration by Kaylee Stout

“Social media is a positive tool that many of us should embrace. However, being self-aware of how we utilize social media is even more important,” Opinion Editor Emmie Boese writes.

A device in your hand, the scrolling of your finger down your feed. Small physical actions that can lead to a big mental impact. Now I have a question: what is the true weight of social media on your life and mind? 

Social media’s impact can be seen by some student’s struggle with procrastination, low self-esteem, and anxiety. We spend more effort trying to receive likes than actually being a likeable person. The time spent scrolling is only a fraction of the time we spend engaged with social media. After the app is closed, is the effect gone too? 

It’s true, social media does connect us to people we normally wouldn’t connect with. However,  it also connects you to other people’s opinions and their “perfect” life they post about. It can be a subconscious toll to navigate through what’s real and what’s fabricated.

Forming a connection without social media can be replicated by a phone call, text, or plans to get together. While social media may keep you up-to-date on what people want you to think about their life, it can also leave you feeling disconnected from people outside of the app. For instance, when you are out to lunch and you pick up your phone to scroll through your feed instead of focusing on the people surrounding you outside the virtual world. 

As this semester approaches, schedules become more hectic and time seems to diminish. A simple way to gain more time and alleviate pressure from others is to delete the source that consumes your time and weighs heavy on your subconscious: social media. Even if it’s not a permanent delete. Take a week off from it then re-download it on the weekend. Then maybe work to delete it for a month and then possibly a whole semester. Start off small and take note of the change it creates in your life. 

As someone who tries to keep a distance from social media as much as possible, it has improved how I make choices, how I spend my time, and how I view myself. Put down the small weight of the phone in your hand and see how your life lightens.