Confession: I Relapsed on Social Media

Helloooo everybody!

It's been a while, almost two months to be exact (yikes). BUT I have cause.

Before I get into the subject of this post, which is quite hearty, I need to explain myself. Basically, I spilled water on my Mac laptop and it died never to wake up again. It honestly almost killed me when that happened, I mean, $1900 just wasted within seconds?!

So currently I am typing this from my mom's five year old HP computer that freezes every five minutes. Yay. The good news is I should be getting a new laptop within the next couple weeks which means more posts! Also, my college schedule this semester is so PRIME that I think I'll be able to post weekly now.

Anywho, back to the original subject of this blog post which is about toxicity of social media. Woohoo.

I'm going to confess that I relapsed. This practically means that I re-downloaded all of my personal social media apps for about a month and binged like you wouldn't believe.

Like any other relapse, it caused me some insane emotional trauma. I noticed my depression was starting up again, I felt the urge to check everything (especially the pointless Snapchat stories) about every couple minutes.

Needless to say I really learned my lesson and the lesson is this: social media, PERSONAL social media, is extremely toxic. The pro's, which I haven't found any yet, extremely outweigh the con's. I felt insecure, depressed, and alone. I'm sure anyone can relate to that stomach-dropping feel when you see something you really didn't want to see. This happened to me almost every day.

A couple days ago, I shared a political post on Facebook and someone who shall remain nameless didn't exactly agree with it. This person began to harass me online and over text which led me to my breaking point. I would honestly delete my Facebook altogether if my stupid Spotify wasn't connected to it (damn you, Spotify). However, this person is now out of my life so that's a plus.

After this happened to me, I recalled that one post I made awhile ago discussing how toxic social media can be and I honestly just went against my own word. I realized how different I was when I used it. I was always in a bad mood, I felt addicted and dependent on it, and had a terrible effect on my mental health.

I was extremely curious about this and was wondering if anyone else thought this or wondering if I was just crazy.

So, like the nerd I am, I did some research! Believe me, it's actually pretty interesting.

First of all, did you know that Megan Fox is a major activist against social media? In an interview she did with Entertainment Tonight she claims that social media is "toxic for our youth culture" and believes it is "irresponsible and dangerous".

Also, the people over at conducted research and made a pretty aesthetically pleasing infographic that had some shocking facts. One being that a study done over at Harvard concluded that self-disclosure on social media stems from the Nucleus Accumbens, the same part of our brain that develops addictions! The use of social media lights up this section of our brain and gives us similar pleasure like receiving money, eating food, and even doin' the dirty (yes, having sex).

I know it's obvious that social media is pretty addicting, especially since that in a study of 500 people over 50% of them admit to it. But does it actually affect our mental health?

Well, duh. The University of Salford did a study with 298 of their students. They concluded that of those participants, half of them claim that these sites have made their lives worse. Can you believe that? What worries me more is that 66% claimed that it made them sleep worse and 25% of them feel uncomfortable if they are unable to access their accounts.

All of this is extremely frightening and I am so glad it is out of my life. The real question is why is all of this bad? Like, can't I just keep going online? I don't have problems with it.

Well, those "problems" you claim you don't have? You're actually unaware of. The lovely people at Boost Mobile did a study with some of their customers to research how much time are we actually wasting on social media.

68% admit to checking social media AT LEAST 10 times a day, some check up to 30 times! 45% say eating is the best time to check social media, and 37% admit that they find social media more important than listening in class.

To put into perspective of how much time is being wasted, 15-19 year olds spend at least 3 hours a day online and 20-29 year old spend at least 2 hours. The average person is usually awake for 14-16 hours a day, which means you are spending roughly a quarter of the entire day on social media!

So much could be done with three hours and most people use it to judge themselves and others! You could paint, type a somewhat moderate essay, clean your house, exercise, GO OUTSIDE, so many things.

OK, I'm done with the research and I'm sorry if you felt like you were in a TED talk seminar or something. These facts should feel daunting. The age of technology has made some great accomplishments, but the pointless time-waster called Social Media was a bad move.

I hope you don't think that you should get off social media completely if  you don't check it very frequently. If you are a user of social media for professional networking like I am, carry on, my friend. BUT, if you are openly aware of your addiction, I am telling you getting off of those horrible sites will change your life for the better.

It shouldn't matter to you what other people think. You have a perfect blend of amazing qualities that set you different from anyone else in the world! That should be your only judgement. The amount of followers or likes you have literally mean nothing until you establish meaning to them.

So, I leave you with this great, cheesy, cliche quote: "Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth."

If you are more interested in this research, you can check out the full infographic here!

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