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Deleting social media increases happiness

Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook are just a few of the social media platforms that many individuals spend time scrolling through daily. According to The Telegraph, “The average person has five social media accounts and spends around one hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day.”

Last fall, I felt frustrated with the amount of time I noticed myself wasting simply by scrolling through said apps,; As a result, I decided to take a step to end this cycle and deleted them. I haven’t looked back since and can confidently say I do not miss social media one bit. Since deleting the apps, I cannot say I have stopped wasting time on frivolous things altogether. I still enjoy binge-watching my favorite shows on Netflix and Hulu just as much as the next person; however deleting these social media apps has made me feel much more present and happier. I feel I have more control over what I choose to do with my time, whether that is spending time relaxing and watching TV or taking my puppy on a walk.

Another benefit I’ve noticed since quitting social media is an increase in my positivity. It is well known that social media is a place where people post idealistic versions of themselves, resulting in comparison and feelings of inadequacy for some users. According to Psychology Today, “The social comparison theory states we determine our own social and personal worth based on how we stack up against others.” Social media in itself is a platform set up for this type of comparison. Whether it is a photo of someone tanning on the beach, or a status update about a great new promotion, we compare ourselves to idealistic and unrealistic standards that others feel the need to uphold. We engage in upward social comparison, idolizing celebrities’ posts of their million dollar homes and then coming home to our tiny apartments and ramen noodles.

Life is too fleeting to waste time comparing our lives to celebrities’ lives or even those of people we went to high school with. Even if it’s just for a week, removing oneself from the cycle of comparison is well worth getting some surprised looks when telling others you’re not on social media.

As seen on page two of The Lasso, Vol. 104, Iss. No. 8, printed on March 7, 2018.

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