Column by Hallie Beard, Opinion Editor
Readers, I’m not here to list off what my 2017 resolutions are.
Instead, I’m here to give each of you one, and you probably need it:
Buck up and get off social media.
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, whatever apps to which you’re currently and embarrassingly addicted. As a struggling social media addict myself, I know just how difficult it is to put down the phone or close the laptop when mindless scrolling has become integral to your normal routine, but you must do it. Here’s why:
Besides randomly reconnecting with old friends, none of the reasons you keep scrolling through Facebook or Twitter are really that important. If one of those sites is your main source for news, there’s an easy fix for that: read a real news source, in print or online, and you won’t have to sift through your grandmother’s commentary on the story first.
Throughout the election season, I heard so many fellow classmates, professors and friends complain about what ghastly thing they saw someone say on Facebook, what idiotic sentiment someone expressed on Twitter. Whether you like to admit it or not, those infuriating “comment trolls” or uninformed yet vocal internet addicts enthrall you. You’re obsessed with them, and their ludicrous arguments reel you in and keep you coming back for more.
If you’re as tired as you claim to be, readers, of the ill-equipped talking heads of social media, stop consuming their material. It isn’t a complex problem.
I’m not asking you to delete all your accounts and go off the grid – I get it, social media is important for networking and even required for some jobs. I still have my accounts, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to delete them completely any time soon.
What I am asking you to do is to stop relying on those sites to pass time, be informed or speak to your friends. I used to spend hours wasting time on those sites each day and night doing absolutely nothing, and I felt illogically compelled to log on and start scrolling as a default action in my life.
It’s pointless, draining and simply not a healthy habit to have.
Now that I’ve stopped using social media so much – usually only getting on to check work-related notifications or event details, though I still post my fair share of unnecessary and stupid statuses – I’ve stopped missing it. Only a few months ago, Twitter was my autopilot, and I’d probably spend half my day with the screen up. Now, I haven’t scrolled through the 140-character monotony in a while, and none of the accounts/jokes/information I loved before have even crossed my mind.
Humans are creatures of habit – we all know this, though we’re reluctant to put it into practice. If you begin the routine of quitting something, you’ll eventually conquer and let go of that vice.
Maybe social media isn’t a problem for you at all, but there’s another computer-related hold you cannot release. Figure out what it is, and make a change.
We love to complain about there not being enough hours in the day to complete our tasks, but we usually don’t consider those hours of media consumption as part of the problem.
Try a few days being disconnected, and see how much time you suddenly have. Maybe you’ll even crack open a book or have a good conversation. The possibilities are endless, friends.
Go discover what those are, and if you post about it online afterward to seek validation from that beautiful, rich friend from high school whose Like means everything to you, I’ll personally track you down and confiscate your device.
Happy New Year!