Do You Need a Break?
Is it time that you quit social media?
December 6, 2018
94% of American teens from ages 13 to 17 have social media and a whopping 29,400,000 of 42 million users check their platforms every day, according to the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Not only do they just visit their social media, many obsess over whether they are gaining or losing followers, maintaining their streaks, or posting the pictures that will get the most attention. Although social media can stimulate communication and build confidence, according to the Huffington Post, 36% of teens wish they did not have some (or any of) their social medias. So why don’t they just quit? Stressors such as FOMO (fear of missing out) or the constant disesteem of oneself from the comparison to other people online may mean it’s time call it quits on social media.
Calling it Quits
Freshman Zoe Fosse has had social media for “five to six years” and has taken multiple breaks for her mental health. Fosse said that with social media she has “experienced stress from my platform to look a certain way and take ‘post worthy’ pictures.” The pressure of having to take pictures everywhere she goes because of the social media culture also spurred her decision to take a break. “Sometimes if my friends and I go somewhere, we all feel pressure to look good and take pictures, just to post them to prove that we were there,” she said Fosse realized social media has made her feel “sad from time to time and mostly self conscious” and that picture platforms such as Instagram sets high beauty standards for girls. Fosse then took a social media break which “helped me get in touch with reality and my surroundings” and “change my perspective in a beneficial way.” However, Fosse mentioned that social media has helped her “make a large number of my friends,” some of which she would not have made without it.
Keeping It Up
Freshman Jenna Haughton has also had social media for about five to six years. Although Haughton has taken a break from social media once, she said, “I wouldn’t take another break from social media because it makes me less bored. For Haughton, taking a break is too hard especially because her social media is part of her everyday life. “On Snapchat, I have to send streaks every morning and open other people’s snaps and respond,” she said. “When I have nothing to do or when I’m alone I can just go on my phone and look at what’s going on.” Haughton enjoys being able to easily access “recent things that are happening.” Social media has been a stressor for her, by constantly “making me procrastinate by going on it for hours while I’m doing homework.” However, it has assisted Haughton especially when she separated from some of her friends who went to different high schools. She said, “[social media] helps me communicate with people I don’t see a lot.”