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Take a Break from Social Media this Summer

posted by LIM College

by Mary Beth Maslowski

Chained_phone.jpgYou’re on your phone, a lot, right? Gotta check your Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter accounts, your emails, maybe even Pokemon Go. So with all that and more going on, doesn’t it seem like you’ve ALWAYS got your face in a screen?

How many times has someone engrossed in checking emails bumped into you as you walk down the street? (Or, how many times have you walked into another person as you check out Kimye’s latest exploits?) ;-)

While I’m all for the convenience of smart phones, sometimes I just want a break from it all. But why is it so hard to put that darn thing down?

I’ve read blogs from LIM students studying in Paris and Melbourne who have said that in those cities people aren’t surgically attached to their phone. Sure, there are some people walking down the street with their head in their phones but it’s not like NYC. One student told me that at RMIT in Melbourne people seemed more interested in just hanging out with each other than always checking their feeds or texting with someone who wasn’t even there. And, the best part is... they like it that way!

Now, I don’t expect myself to put my phone in a drawer and forget about it, but there has to be a way to get some of a real life back, correct? I realized I need to change the way I think about social media. Here’s what I came up with.

Don’t think that you will be missing the next big thing

If I’m not checking my phone every two seconds I feel like I might be missing something big. What if I’m not the first person among my friends to know that the J-pop band Babymetal will be playing in NYC? The horror! Well, you know what? It’s not that big a deal. The world will still continue to turn and men, women, babies, and dogs will all rise and shine the next morning. It will not be the end of life as we know it.

Don’t assume everyone is having more fun than you

It feels like my friends always have something cool or fun going on. My life is so boring in comparison. Wait a second, the rest of the world does do stuff that isn’t worthy of a Snapchat. It’s easy to forget that since we only post what we think will make us look like demi-gods on earth.

Remember that you do have good stuff going on

It’s better to focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t. (Whhhaaatt?) You’ve got things going on that are worthwhile, whether it’s your friends, family, an interesting internship, going to see a new flick, or even your dog. It can be tough to remember all that you have to be thankful for if you’re worrying about what everyone else is doing.

Take that social media break

Simply put your phone down (or keep it in your bag for an hour…a half hour, 15 minutes!) Anything is better than nothing (Can’t…get…the…phone…out…of…my…hand!)

Yeah, it may not be easy to do, but try it. Make a concerted effort to do something that makes you feel happy. Hang out with your friends in person instead of online. You might even be reminded that their lives are not just one crazy party after another and you’re all coming from the same place.

Besides, it’s rather freeing not to always be worrying about documenting every step you take and every visit to Starbucks. Simply go to Starbucks, order your cappucino, breathe and smile. Live in the moment, and just enjoy yourself. (What a concept!)

And if worse comes to worse, you can always pretend you’re in Paris! Mais oui!

Topics: Student Advice