Taking a Break From Social Media Could Be All the Therapy You Need

By: Salma Mourad

It’s on the verge of consuming us – if it hasn’t already. So obsessed with how perfect our Instagram feed should be to impress our crush, or how many streaks we have and if we got enough retweets on twitter. It’s sickening to see how the human race is slowly turning into a bunch of addicted zombies. This of course, is certainly not an implication that I myself do not care about these pathetic things, because I do. But, I wish I didn’t.

The first thing we do in the morning is automatically check for notifications. If we haven’t gotten any overnight, we feel worthless. It’s just how it is. It’s hard to resist. Just like drug-addiction, or any other type of addiction for that matter, social media has us wrapped around its finger. Instead of studying for the 3 exams you have next week, you waste all your time going through every single story on your snapchat and chat nonstop with your friends. It does not only steal your productivity studying, but even with friends social media is the ultimate parasite. Eyes locked on the phone, probably texting the person in front of you instead of talking to them. Taking a snap of your food is a necessity, and not to forget the infamous boomerang to prove to the world how “fun” the outing is.

We’re not to blame, are we? That’s just how our generation is, and that’s the way things are going. We either accept it and hop on the train, or take the way we think completely isolates us from the rest of the world. It’s a hard choice indeed, choosing between following the path of internet 24/7 to fit in, or actually taking a rest for a few days, weeks, even months. Before you go all crazy on me & perceive me as delusional for actually thinking you’d survive a day without the internet, hear me out.

I was obssesed with streaks. I had over 80 of them, and they were never under 100 days. Out of the blue, I decided to ruin them all, delete snapchat and install it after 2 days. No habit-breaking lasts two days, I assure you, but that wasn’t my goal. I never meant to actually stop my addiction, I was just trying something out. I was so hung up on keeping all my streaks, that I never realized how negatively they affected me. One of my friends would send a picture of them studying, I’d get stressed about not doing the same. People would go out without me, I’d see their stories and feel left out. So many bad things, and I never realized till I actually tried to put an end to them. I wanted to know what it would feel like to ruin streaks that exceeded a year and not give a crap about it. And in just 2 days, it worked. I had complete control, and I’d send a streak whenever I wanted. Now I can’t even keep a 10-day one. You may think this is pathetic, after all it’s just a streak, but it was such a refreshing feeling to know that I can get rid of something that might be hurting me, a feeling of having control over your own decisions. Because the problem is, our addiction is not visible until it turns into a catastrophe.

Let me rephrase, I’m not telling you to suddenly delete all social media apps you have and deactivate all your accounts, I’m telling you to give your brain a chance to rest. 1 day. Try going one day without opening Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. What’s the worst that can happen? What can you actually lose? 

You might not realize it, but the hot model you stalk on Instagram may be the reason you don’t appreciate your looks. Or the couple that keep posting pictures of themselves the reason you’re so desperate for love. Everything we read and see has an effect on us. Negative or positive, it hits us. It doesn’t lie in our hands. We do not get to choose what to feel, but we get to choose how to react to it. Taking a break from social media does not only do that, but it makes you understand the world better. A world where you have friends, family and hobbies.

Taking a break from social media is not a piece of cake when everything around you revolves around it. It’s not easy, I know. But it’s something you have to do from time to time in order to regain lost confidence, distract yourself with useful things and always have the upper hand over any type of addiction. You won’t only be in control, you’ll feel much better. You’ll be productive, relaxed and maybe even happy. You won’t believe me, you’ll think I’m not in my right mind for saying this, but why not try it? Just one or two days. You’ll see, you’ll care much less. You’ll actually have control for once.

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