OPINION: Stop scrolling — It’s not good for you


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.

Social media expands knowledge, helps stay connected with friends and family and it can even be used to find jobs. Through the use of social media, I have expanded a platform for myself to share ethical and responsible journalism as well as meet others and celebrate others successes. 

Social media can also be the cause for heart ache, anxiety, stress and depression. It is no secret that cyber bullying is one of the leading causes of bullying in the United States. According to Statista, 40 percent of adults have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their life. 

Another negative effect that comes from social media is mindless scrolling. Mindless scrolling is when someone gets on social media – whether it be Twitter , Instagram or Facebook and starts scrolling through their feeds without even thinking about why they are doing it. 

A research study conducted by Penn State University said that mindless scrolling often happens from the fear of missing out. Personally, I face this very often as a student journalist. My brain is ingrained to always believe I am missing  something important, like breaking news.

Mindless scrolling can have negative effects l on one’s mental health. The Cleveland Clinic research suggests that mindless scrolling can make depression and anxiety worse due to feeling left out of invites or parties that someone may have posted about.

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. Some ways to fight mindless scrolling are trying to find productive things in between your schedule, limiting the amount of time you spend on social media each day and thinking of a clear purpose as to why you want to access social media.

For me, I turn off my social media notifications. If my notifications are on I can quickly look at what I need to look at, whether that be a post I’m tagged in or something I need to take care of for work. When they’re off, I don’t have as much of a desire.

It’s also helpful to find hobbies in between my schedule and have one that I’m actively pursuing. For example, record collecting keeps my brain away from the troll that says I should keep scrolling. 

What works for one person may not work for the other but trying to minimize negative uses of social media can be impactful.