One of my goals for this year was to use my phone, and technology, in general, less in order to be more productive. Therefore, I decided to take a break out of social media, and here are a few reasons why anyone should.
Waste of time.
Let us be honest. How many hours a day do we waste scrolling on Facebook and Twitter not doing much just because? Global Web Index shows that on average, we spend two hours a day solely on social media and this number is extremely higher for teens who spend around eight hours a day scrolling down (Common Sense Media, 2017). It is indeed the main reason why I deactivated both Facebook and Twitter and deleted Instagram. I realised how much I spent on social media; not reading about something important or that I enjoy nor talking to people, simply going through the apps for nothing instead of studying and doing things I enjoy.
We tend to forget it, but social media are large profit-maximising corporations. The more time people spend on these websites, the more they feed their knowledge on us, our personal information and our tastes. Working with other organisations, they enrich themselves with personalised advertising and by selling our information. Have you tried to permanently delete your Facebook account? It is very difficult and almost impossible and even when done, the website keeps stored information that they can still sell to companies.
3. Emotional labour and discrimination.
Ignorant people on social media. Nothing new and probably nothing that will change any time soon. People forget the existence of Google and tend to ask any of their questions without doing any research, which is very often the case in leftist Facebook groups. On the other hand, people with answers tend to be aggressive and even aggressive towards people asking questions. Both become tiring. Of course, repeating something that we have repeated our whole life is exhausting (hence the emotional labour) but there is a need for balance. Not everyone is at our stage. We are not at everyone else’s stage. We can all educate and all learn and grow. But please, before asking anything, do your research.
4. Everyone knows everything.
I could not count the number of times my mom has messaged me asking why I was awake at 4 a.m if I tried or that I had to pretend I was surprised when someone told me something I had seen on Facebook before. Privacy simply disappears with social media and the only way to prevent this from happening is to reduce your use. I want to listen to people more and be more present when talking to someone which is why I am extremely excited for this break.
/!\ TRIGGER WARNING: mental illnesses, self-harm. /!\
Social media (notably Tumblr) is renowned for its ability to romanticise sadness, anxiety, depression and even suicide. It tends to represent things such as self-harm as a beautiful thing Whilst I am old enough now for the Tumblr teenage world not to affect me, I still find it easy to lose hope whilst on social media. Taking a break might sometimes be necessary although you do not realise it.