Social Media Cleanse: Taking a Step Away from the Screen

By: Rachel Lamb 

As we begin the second month of the new year, people are starting to fall off their new year’s resolutions. One resolution that many people have every year is a social media cleanse. But there are students here at OKWU who are sticking to their resolutions, specifically the students who took social media breaks. They feel the need to take a break from social media for some reason or another. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.   

Taking a break from social media is an idea that is becoming very popular in recent years. Around 3.48 billion people are using some form of social media; this means that around 45% of the world’s population uses some type of media that has them interacting with others. When people decide that they need to take a break from social media there are usually a few reasons why they might take that break.  

One reason someone might take a break would be to reclaim their time because too much of their time has been used to scroll continuously through different feeds. One student here at OKWU, Desiree Nziramasanga, tells people that she takes a break from social media every year at new years and stays on the break until April.  She does this to reclaim her time in the new year and is able to focus on herself more than her screen.  

Another reason would be to get better sleep. It is said that when you are on your phone within an hour before bedtime, it is harder for you to fall asleep. So, people may be decreasing their social media presence, thus decreasing the likelihood that they will be on their phone later in the night to increasing their quality and quantity of sleep. A personal thing that I do is that I do not allow myself to use social media thirty minutes prior to falling asleep, in hopes that my phone is not what is keeping me up at night.   

Lastly, people may fast from social media in order to form better connections with others. If you put your phone down for a little while, you may increase your connections with your friends, family, and peers. Also, taking a break from social media can allow some people to re-evaluate the reason they use social media in the first place so that by the end of their fast they return with a new idea of why they are using the platforms that they are using. Some people just need to take a small break for them to realize the reasons they were originally on social media so they can come back and use it for the right reasons.   

Many people take breaks from social media, and there is evidence that trading in your screen for more time, better sleep, and stronger connections. Let’s wish the OKWU students’ luck as they continue to follow their resolutions through the rest of the year, or however long they planned on practicing them.