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  • Alexa

Logging out of social media

A few days ago I logged out of my social media accounts for the first time ever. I'm not sure when I will log back into them.

Why I made this decision is something I don't necessarily need to share, and there were a few factors involved, but I have decided that I would like to explain why.

During the quarantine my relationship to social media has changed as I am home all of the time now and I have constant access to my phone. I just can't seem to get away from it and have started to feel as if I am constantly checking social media. When I looked at my phone's screen time data I learned that somehow I was spending 2-3 hours a day on social media.

Also with the quarantine everything has become virtual and I realized that I am staring at screens all day long now. I have been watching YouTube videos and live streams to work out, school is completely online, talking to my friends through FaceTime, reading digital books and articles, and watching TV.

Before quarantine I had time away from my phone as I didn't use my phone when driving, working out or while in class. I also didn't use my phone that much when I was with other people or really focused on a project. I had time away from technology and was only looking at social media a few times a day.

With the added stress of the state of the world, I felt like within these social media platforms I was constantly reading the news and political opinions, and how the world was falling apart. I was getting upset and worried, and so I would try to search for some sense of hope within these platforms, but it was really hard to find. I found myself surrounded by negativity.

For some people on social media, they have been able to travel, go on vacations, and see all their friends and extended family. Seeing their photos as if everything was okay was confusing. As much as I was glad that they were able to go out and do these things, I was also worried about their safety. I was also getting upset as I haven't been able to do these things. As much as I would love to visit my grandparents and go to the beach, I don't really know when I will be able to again.

Once I realized I had started to compare myself and my life to others, I became really unhappy. And as much I wish it was just quarantine related things, it occurred to me that I was also getting frustrated at myself for not looking like other women my age, or doing a better job on social media with advocating for food allergies. I know that I shouldn't compare myself to others, and I usually try to not compare myself to anyone but myself. So I was honestly surprised that I had started to do this, and that it took me so long to realize that I was doing this.

I have always believed in social media to be a form of digital scrapbook, to document good memories. Except the memories feature was appearing and showing me photos of the past, it was making me sad, to be constantly reminded of what was.

I have also believed that social media was a way for people to stay connected, and I still do think it is a way for connection. Now that I'm not on social media I worry about what I may be missing, or not know about, as I'm afraid of being left out. Then again this fear of missing out (FOMO) might have been why I was constantly checking social media. And it's also why in the past when I have considered taking social media breaks, I would get so anxious that I couldn't make it past one day.

Logging out of my social media accounts for now is a choice I have made, as I would like to separate myself from the negative aspects of it and focus more of my time on school.

Eventually I will decide what positive purposes social media should have for me and how I should continue to use it.


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