The Reality of Giving It Up


Allie Weber

By deleting social media, high schoolers are able to grow in ways that will better themselves, and won’t cause them to put up a facade (Photo courtesy of Allie Weber).

Social media: the thing that seems to determine how we act, what we think, and how we live our lives. It’s something that envelopes society and it would be hard to imagine what it would be like without it. 

I know we’ve all heard the lecture of “get off your phone!”, and “it’s turning your brain to mush!”, and we’ve all ignored it because we know that’s not the case, right?

I had been struggling with something for a while that had basically turned my life upside down. It felt as though my life was passing by, and I was simply looking on and watching it happen. It wasn’t until this past year that I was beginning to understand it and finally decided to fight and work through the issues I was struggling with. I pretty much tried everything: vitamins, more sleep, better diet, and more exercise. These all worked great for a short period of time, but the feelings kept coming back, and I wanted a more permanent option. 

February 2020 rolled around, and I needed to decide what I wanted to do for Lent. I toyed with all of the possible options: candy, junk food, go to the gym, and other things like that. Nothing seemed good enough for what I wanted to accomplish this season, until someone very close to me said, “What about social media?”. At first, I was hesitant. Social media is how I communicate with most of my friends, and TikTok is way too much fun. But eventually, I came around and decided I could give it up for 40 days. It’s not that long, and I have other things I could do anyway. 

Let’s just say the first week was rough. I was constantly tempted to click on the little yellow ghost or the bluebird that haunted my screen. As time went on, however, I found it easier to avoid that part of my phone and filled my time with completing assignments, hanging out with friends, and going to church. And even though I still had to get up early for school, I found myself sleeping so much better, which definitely affected choices I would make during the day. 

Not only was I physically doing better, but mentally I was doing fantastic. It was as though someone turned on the defrost in my head, and I was able to think clearly again. I feel more in control of my life, and I am able to make choices that are better for me not just what I think I need to get done. Not only do I feel like I have my life together, but I am monumentally happier. I have a more positive outlook on life, and I am able to live day by day without focusing so much on what is coming next. I’m not comparing myself to others as much, but rather, who I was yesterday, and how I can improve from that. My anxiety has essentially vanished. Though it still flares up from time to time, I am able to concentrate on what I can do now, as opposed to everything that I need to get done in the future. 

I know you’ve heard it a million times. I know someone has told you, “social media affects your mental health!”, and you’ve probably brushed it off, but I’m living proof. While I still struggle with my mental health, I am nowhere near where I was a year ago. I cannot express how much giving it up has not only helped me but changed me. High school is a rough time, so do something for you. Turn your defrost on.