At the start of the year, I decided to take a break from social media. The only account I had was Instagram, as I’d already deactivated my Facebook back in 2017, and I’d never gotten into TikTok, Snap Chat, or Twitter. Instagram is a great app, and I really enjoy posting travel pics, keeping up with my friends, and following inspiring accounts. However, I realized that I was spending an inordinate amount of time scrolling through random reels and photos, wasting hours each week.
I’m not one of those declare-that-I’m-quitting-social-media kind of people; those posts always come across as attention seeking to me. I just quietly signed off, deactivated my account, and deleted the app, unsure of how long I’d be away. When January 1st came around, I began my hiatus. While it was difficult at first, and my habit of picking up my phone multiple times a day took an embarrassingly long time to break, after a while, I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would.
I figured I’d stay away for a week, maybe two; I didn’t think I’d be away this long. In some ways, I think I should go back, since I miss seeing my friends’ photos and finding new ideas for school. On the other hand, I worry I’d go back to my old ways and waste time again instead of using the app sparingly. I’ve read articles and books about the power of social media and the grip it can have on someone. These apps are designed to make it hard for people to stop using them, and despite knowing the tactics they use, I still fall prey to them.
Social media can connect you to other people, but it can also isolate you. Finding balance between the two is like walking a tightrope. Since signing off, I’ve lost touch with some people, and I don’t always know what’s trending at the moment, but I’ve gained more connections with people in real life, as I’ve prioritized my social life now that things have opened up more here. Whenever I decide to get back on social media, I hope I can do it in a balanced way.