The Impact of Social Media on Students

By Alysha Pluta, Contributing Writer

La Roche student Alysha Pluta explains her experience taking a break from social media to better her mental health.

My life has revolved around Snapchat ever since I began actively using it, which was four years ago. I Snap people constantly, view stories, post pictures and videos of my pets, friends, and whatever else intrigues me at the time.

I got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed a break. I needed to start living my life. I needed to better my mental health.

When I started this experience, I was more overwhelmed than I ever remember myself being. It got to a point where I thought my physical health would begin to decline too.

My plan was to better my mental health by removing unnecessary activities in my day that add more stress. This included social media, mainly Snapchat, and limiting screentime as much as I could.

I knew I had to do it because I felt like social media is controlling my life and it needed to stop. I needed to stop obsessing over what other people are doing, they think of me, and trying to get validation from others.

I made sure I limited all social media. I would not allow myself to use it as a distraction. I needed to get my work done, to get my life back on track.

To do this, I started by deleting Snapchat. Immediately afterwards, I felt great. I knew it would be a good decision and incredibly beneficial for me.

I quickly realized the good and the bad of it.

I was prioritizing my time better, functioning a bit better, and dealing with fewer stresses. I didn’t have those little worries like telling old high school friends’ happy birthday. I wasn’t comparing myself to others as much. I was focusing on me more.

It was good for me.

But there were some parts that weren’t as great. I didn’t have my main form of communication with my friends. I found that I don’t like change. I also didn’t have access to most of my pictures because they were all saved on my Snapchat.

It was bittersweet.

I forced myself to implicate these things into—well out of, my life for a week. I had to follow through with this for a week, and then I decided to go from there. Wait and figure out what I wanted to do.

It’s hard to figure out what’s best for your mental health when you don’t truly know what’s wrong.

By the end of the week, I came to a decision. I would allow myself to redownload Snapchat if I continue to work on reprioritizing my time.

It’s still a work in progress, but I’m doing better.

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