Social media cleanses are beyond beneficial


Jason Howie

Social media has been proven to contribute to peer pressure in teens.

Izzy Cavazzoni

Six hundred million Instagram accounts. Over a billion daily active users on Facebook. Around 350,000 average tweets per minute. No matter the platform, social media’s ubiquitous presence in the daily lives of people across the globe is unmistakable.

In pursuit of less distractions and more free time, I deleted the Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook apps from my cell phone: a social media blackout. Rather than perusing social media, I resolved to create a more productive outlet for my free time. I advise that you do the same.

Reducing the time spent on social media inherently increases the productivity of your time. James B. Stewart of The New York Times wrote that the average social media user spends 50 minutes each day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Without social media, this 50 minute void can be filled with more valuable activities like completing homework or pursuing a hobby.

In another New York Times article, entitled “Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It,” author Cal Newport poses a compelling argument that rings true for not only adults with jobs, but teenagers and students too.

The more you use social media in the way it’s designed to be used — persistently throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom,” Newport said.

Social media does not just endanger your job but also your education. Ten minute study sessions tend to be broken up by 15 minute social media “breaks.” These short intermissions lead to a longer overall amount of time spent on homework and studying, turning what could have been an early bedtime into a late night.

On the other hand, I recognized that I obtain virtually all of my news from social media. Though I didn’t miss seeing my Twitter followers and Facebook friends squabble over whatever the headlines made up that day, during my social media blackout I was completely in the dark on current events. Instead of looking towards Twitter for news, I began to scan news websites each morning and before bed. The change was refreshing and one that I feel is more beneficial for consuming news.

Still my initial hopes prevailed: I finished homework earlier and began to put my leisure towards literature instead of social media.  I’ve read more in the past few weeks than I have in the rest of my life.

Stop posting pictures instead of studying for tests. Delete Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and any other forms of social media for a couple weeks and see what happens. As for me, I won’t be logging back on any time soon.