I can’t be the only one whose elders make fun of them for being glued to their phones, and the truth is, I am! Social media has become an essential part of my daily life since my mom allowed me to create my first social account. It has even become a part of the career I wish to pursue. While social media is a very useful and entertaining resource, when excessively used and misinterpreted it can be the cause of self-destruction. Social media can lead to comparison, aid in unstable mental health, be a distraction, and much more. I connected with College Fashionista community members and other college students to share our social media detox stories and reflect on how they’ve been helpful. In listening to our stories I hope you gain the courage to embark on your detox journey.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
Whether or not we realize and accept it, social media influences the way we maneuver in this world and not always in the most constructive way. We often allow the glamour of one’s life, possessions, relationships, etc to affect the way we look at our own. In actuality, we only see the highlights of someone’s life and not necessarily the reality. Everyone’s life is their own and your road will never be similar to that of someone else’s.
From Experience: “It [social media] taught me that comparison is the thief of joy. Sometimes we get so caught up in the influencers, that we forget to live our own lives and water our grass instead of watering someone else’s.” Danielle Watson, Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, Georgia) class of 2024
“I deleted all of my social media a few months ago for a month or two, and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Comparison is the thief of happiness. It’s so easy to get FOMO or compare yourself/ your lifestyle to others when in reality people are only posting the highlights and best parts of their lives. It’s so much easier to be happy and content when you’re not constantly comparing yourself and your life to others.” – Rodushi Ahmed, The City College of New York (NYC, New York) class of 2024
Protect Your Mental Health
You know the saying: play with fire and you’ll get burned? Well, don’t wait until you get burned to take action. If you feel you are down the path of mental instability and its roots are social media, remove yourself from the situation. Whether it be logging out for a couple of hours or a day, I use that time for self-care. Take a bath, drive around and listen to music, meditate, etc.
From Experience: “I’m currently on a detox and it has benefitted me so much! I don’t have any pressure to look a certain way. I haven’t put myself down or compared myself to anyone else because I have not been on social media. I recommend taking that break. I think it can be beneficial to your mental health.” – CF community member DeLorean Naphia
“I went on a social media detox because I felt like I needed to separate myself [to] lean on/love myself. Social media can bring out a lot of negative feelings within yourself and I did not like how that felt. After detoxing, I started to get back into good habits…and learned to love and be comfortable in my skin.” – Lendsey Augustin, Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, Florida) class of 2024
Work On Yourself & Your Craft
On a less drastic note, social media is a very big distraction. I can personally attest to visiting the TikTok app and scrolling for hours while the day passes me by. Sometimes it’s as simple as temporarily leaving social media to focus on your craft and what is important. Fun fact, I had to log out of social media to finish this story!
From Experience: “As a music artist, social media breaks help me steer clear of making comparisons of myself and other people doing similar things like me. The breaks also help me collect ideas for song topics and give me the time I need to slowly, but surely, perfect my craft. As an individual who suffers from bipolar depression and anxiety, taking breaks from social media also helps me relieve my mind and conscience of toxic things I may see while scrolling, or negativity displayed by other people that can affect me.” – Kyle Parrish, Virginia State University (Petersburg, Virginia) class of 2024
“I took a break from posting for a couple [of] weeks and did not go on Instagram, my main app. [It] helped me as far as focus on other important things and projects. I was going through a lot mentally, and this app [Instagram] was not beneficial to me at all. So I signed out and went inactive, I loved it!” – Jarai Ross, CUNY College of Staten Island (Staten Island, New York) class of 2022
We’ve all opened up and have been extremely vulnerable about our need for social detoxes. Now you know that you are not alone and you have an army of CF community members and students from all over behind you. You are more important than an app, social site, and what you see on the internet, so do what is best for you. Trust me, social media has proven it is not going anywhere! It’ll be here for a while so take that break, it may change your life!
Featured photo via Austin Chan