How to remove yourself from the social media universe


Smriti Rai

“Keep Instagram casual.”

Olive Miller, Editor-in-Chief

Social Media: the connection between you and millions of other people at the swipe of your finger. The concept, when broken down, sounds like something straight out of a Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie. So, how did such a foreign concept come to graze and impede our lives almost every single day?

While social media provides trillions of ideas and information in a matter of seconds, it can also provide equal amounts of misinformation and deceptions. Due to the constant evolution of the digital world and the mass amounts of misinformation, it is vital you learn how to not only separate yourself from your online presence but also learn to live without it. 

The first step you need to take is to learn to divide the ‘true you’ and your faux online presence, because while you may claim to ‘keep Instagram casual’, no one really does. You can begin to distinguish between the real you and the social media you by asking yourself this question: What is driving my social media use? If you answer something along the lines of ‘to show other people your lives’ or ‘stay in contact with friends,’ you sit alongside millions of people who have fallen into the same illusory trap: the false consolation that you can leave social media at any point in time.

While you may believe that you are able to remove yourself from social media whenever you please, it’s a bit more complicated than that. 

According to Addiction Center, “Social media addiction is a behavioral addiction that is characterized as being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it impairs other important life areas.” 

Social media is an addiction thats consequences are comparable to that of nicotine. However, not only is social media addictive, it helps promote a negative self image. From edited photos to comparing yourself and your life to other users, social media can create a very unhealthy and competitive lifestyle. 

In an October 27, 2021 New York Times article, Chelsea Kronengold, a spokeswoman for the National Eating Disorders Association said, “Social media in general does not cause an eating disorder. However, it can contribute to an eating disorder.”

Now that you have come to terms with the dependency and addiction you and many others face with social media, you can begin to fix it. The next step you can take is to find new activities, because, whether you realize it or not, your phone usage takes up a large portion of your day. Your activities can be anything from making playlists, to watercolor painting to exercising. Your activities should be sacred to you and consist of things that will uplift your mood. You can also use that time to figure out what the healthiest version of yourself is, without the lackluster presence of the imminent digital universe.

The final step you can take is to realize that learning to live without the presence of social media is next to impossible, but learning to limit your social media use can be extremely beneficial and freeing. So, the next time you catch yourself endlessly scrolling for hours on end, just remember, there’s a whole word outside social media waiting for you: the true you.