Shut off the social media spigot this summer

Put your phone down for a while and just enjoy life


Illustration by Jeff Durham

Casey Anderson, Opinion Editor

Social media is everywhere you go. Literally. Usually, it resides in the palm of your hand or the back pocket of those new blue jeans. You can usually find teens and adults (myself included) with their head down and their fingers scrolling.

Social media is encapsulating and devouring. It’s addictive, and most of us have fallen into its pattern.

I’ll admit I can spend hours scrolling. Twitter is definitely my downfall. I will say, the memes are truly unbeatable – no competition there. But I have seen hours of my time wasted away while I stare at my screen, and I don’t gain anything from it, either. My life passes me by while I watch others live theirs.

I know we all experience this. Everyone has felt a pang of jealousy while on social media. It forces us to compare our lives in the most polished, edited, and selected moments. And then we spend our life trying to match those moments or simply just scrolling, looking for more.

But why do we allow ourselves to spend so much time doing this? Do we truly gain anything from our pointless scrolling?

I think we should all try to put our social media away for this summer. Even if just for a month.

WOAH. Hold it right there. I know what you’re thinking. It seems impossible, right?

Believe me, I love social media as much as the rest of us, but we should all give ourselves a chance to experience life without it, especially a summer.

The sun is out once more, the grass is long and green, and the water is warming up. Birds are chirping and soon, the cicadas will be singing along with them. Go enjoy it! Trust me, you won’t miss much online. It won’t kill ya to miss a picture of Jennifer at the beach again.

You will never regret putting your phone down to take a bike ride, visit an old friend, or simply walk outside. Putting your phone down will make you not only more present in your life, but more appreciative. Listen to how your loved ones laugh, look for the twinkle in your best friend’s eyes, take time to reflect on yourself. Be more present with life and it will bring more presents to you.

You will learn a lot about yourself just by putting your social media on the backburner.

Social media is constantly showing up idealized pictures and showing us what we “should” have or what we “should” be doing. It can take some courage and self-reflection, but by putting your phone away, you allow your mind the time to breathe and be itself again.

Spend some time with your thoughts and learn to understand yourself better. It will only help you grow.

I know all of this sounds like a big sacrifice. But most of us are really just on our phones because it’s convenient and we’re bored.

Summertime is the perfect time to put your phone down and spend time enjoying life and being present. Even if you just try it for a few days or a week, you will still gain some new, positive memories and learn more about yourself.